Neighborhood Kitchens

Meet Bristol Lounge Chef José Gamez

By Margarita Martinez

July 20, 2012

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Chef José Gamez (Patricia Alvarado/WGBH)

Growing up, José Gamez always wanted to be an astronaut. But this dream changed during a part-time job at Mother Anna’s restaurant in Boston’s North End in high school, where he discovered an all new passion: food. The Chef at Mother Anna’s spotted something extraordinary in Gamez from the start. "I was filled with excitement. He saw my strong work ethic and eagerness to learn and took a chance on me," Gamez said. The chef asked Gamez to be his apprentice and, as they say, "the rest is history."

After several years of experience (and a fondness for Italian food that continues to this day), Gamez was ready for his next professional step: in 2004, he joined the family of Four Seasons Hotel Boston. Since his arrival nearly eight years ago, Gamez has worked in all areas of the kitchen, from the Five Diamond restaurant Aujourd’hui (which closed in 2009), to the banquet and bustling Bristol Lounge kitchens. Gamez credits his promotion to Executive Sous Chef to a mix of hard work, dedication, and, above all, a love and appreciation for food.

On his days off, Gamez can be found in his home kitchen creating dishes for his family – or teaching impromptu cooking classes for his seven year-old son. Gamez especially enjoys crafting wine-pairing menus: "I see wine as something that not only enhances the taste of food but also gives the meal a story."

Whether at home or at work, Gamez’s cooking philosophy boils down to his belief that each ingredient "has its own purpose and unique flavour that it brings to a dish. And when those flavors combine in just the right way, the result is extraordinary."


Watch Neighborhood Kitchens online to find out more about Bristol Lounge and Chef Gamez's neighborhood of East Boston.


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About Neighborhood Kitchens

Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

Saturdays at 4pm on WGBH 2
Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44

About the Author
Margarita Martinez Margarita Martinez
Margarita Martinez grew up in the Bronx, NY and Ossining, NY with a Puerto Rican father and a Franco-American mother. She now calls New England home. Margarita has always had an insatiable appetite for travel and food. She made her first empanada as a teenager visiting Argentina, satisfied her sweet tooth with poffertjes and stroopwafels while studying in Holland, engorged herself on Thai street food for a month in Bangkok, and continues to search for authentic international cuisines in the Northeast. Margarita loves to discover new ingredients, flavors, and cooking approaches that she can bring to her own home kitchen.

On the Go

In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Find a Neigbhorhood Kitchen
click on the map to explore

Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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