In honor a new episode of Top Chef Masters tonight, and a contestant who we wish had made it, Feast presents Cash Wanted with chef Jody Adams. In somewhat of an upset last week, Adams, chef-owner of Rialto in Cambridge, Mass. went from cruising through episodes with her Italian take on seasonal ingredients, to losing to Jonathan Waxman who toed a breakdown over the exotic proteins challenge. Still, she represented both her hometown and herself admirably (with some kinky quotes enlivening each episode) and the national attention may be just what she needs to find a philanthropic investor for her dream second restaurant, one that can become a model for additional outlets in third-world countries.
Jody Adams, Cash Wanted:
"I’ve been at Rialto for 16 years. There are white tables clothes and it’s considered fine dining. It is to a certain extent a neighborhood place, but I’ve always hankered for a place - to build a really beautiful simple neighborhood joint that feels like it’s been there forever, to be built as green as possible perhaps with a green roof or a garden on the roof. I love the idea of growing things that I use in the restaurant. I would have to have someone help with that; I don’t have a green thumb. Maybe it would have solar panels and a component that would provide a teaching arena. You can start teaching kids very early. I have a dream to build this as a model and to take it out of the country, right now to a place like Haiti.
I’ve considered it before and talked to various people. I haven’t quite figured out how to get in there. I once read a quote that said ‘in this life that I live. I really have two lives.’ I have a responsibility to do something with that second life, in a nutshell. It would just be the beginning. That’s my dream. The investors would have to be somebody who believes that profit is not always in the form of dollars. It has to do with heart.
I’ve been thinking about another kind of restaurant for a long time - much more flexible kind of restaurant about being spontaneous, animal as a condiment. And ever since I was in Rwanda in 2007, I’ve been thinking about how I can take my expertise beyond the world that I’m in. No, I don’t have name yet. To be named. It’s very virtual. Sometimes all you have to do is see it written down."