Chef Joseph Muldoon’s new world-class eatery in Northfield is all about the food.
One of the most gratifying aspects of food writing is being granted the privilege of chronicling clever young chefs as they progress through their professional lives.
It’s more than just vicarious; there is certainly a mutuality of enlightened self-interest inherent to the entire endeavor.
Rarely have I had the good fortune to encounter one whose career trajectory has ascended quite as rapidly as Joseph Muldoon.
Major props must go to my good friend and a rising star himself, casino PR exec extraordinaire Jerry Eisenband of the Caesars gaming empire. It was he — close in age to Muldoon — who first brought the then-25 year old to my attention several years past.
Since then the youthful chef has gone on to run one of the city’s most underrated restaurants, The Reserve at Bally’s, with a great sense of style and remarkable humility.
Nominally a steak house, the pretty blue and gold-hued space was truly the first big stage for a burgeoning, world-class culinary talent.
Almost in time to celebrate his 28th birthday, Muldoon opened his first independent restaurant, Roberta’s, at the intersection of Tilton and New roads in Northfield.
Named for his mother, a home economics teacher whom he credits for instilling in him a love of cooking, Roberta’s replaced the former occupant, Gianna’s, on Monday, June 3.
The transition was rapid, with the former tenant’s last day having been the prior Friday.
It was a remake-remodel worthy of a television reality show: over the course of two intervening days, “custom tiles and a back wall of mirrors were installed and the pizza oven was completely refaced,” says Muldoon.
Joseph Muldoon, the 20- something whiz kid chef installed at Bally’s elegant supper club The Reserve just over two years ago, will never be accused of taking his charges lightly.
He is Korean by birth and was adopted at age three months by an Irish father and German mother. His mom, a home education teacher, is the one who got him interested in cooking. Mrs. Muldoon, from those of us who enjoyed a fabulous five course meal last night, thank you for inspiring your son to become a chef.
Traditional fifth-anniversary presents are generally crafted from wood, strong and durable, but with a few notable culinary exceptions — like cinnamon, harvested from the inner bark of trees — hardly the stuff of good eating. Notable and new this year was an official announcement made on June 25 that the organization Architecture for Humanity, along with its “Restore the Shore” fund, would be the exclusive charity partner for the weekend-long celebration.
In our annual Wish List column last January, the final item was a simple request; more women leading local kitchens. We got what we asked for at Tropicana’s new Casa Taco and Tequila-owned by restaurant/retail magnate George Siganos — in the form of executive chef Jennifer Galligan.