Brad Spence

Chef Brad Spence
Amis Trattoria
Westport, CT

Define innovation:
Innovation happens in the kitchen when you allow yourself to cook with your heart. I think this comes with years of working and confidence in your cooking.

Your inspiration: My mom. She passed away when I was 8 years old, but I have a lot of memories cooking with her. In fact, one of the first memorable dishes I made was with her—it was scrambled eggs with chives and I was either four or five years old when I made it.

Career highlight: Working with the person who inspired me to cook Italian food when I was 15 years old, Mario Batali. Cooking for Mario in my young career was a dream come true. I met him at Babbo while staging, and then when he opened Casa Mono, I jumped at the chance to work for him and Chef Andy Nusser. That restaurant may be the most influential restaurant I have worked at in terms of honing my own cooking style.

Brad Spence QuoteOn eating out: I eat out sometimes, but the truth is, I still like to cook at home. If it’s not home, it’s usually my wife and I at a friend’s spot.

Person you’d love to cook for: If I could cook for anyone, I would love to have cooked for Muhammad Ali.

Best career advice: My dad gave me the best career advice, which was, if you’re working for someone who truly wants to teach you, consider yourself very lucky.

2017 Most Innovative Chef CoverClick here for more chefs:
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Lisa and Steve Maronian
Stavros Karipides




Photos by Bruce Plotkin