A former musician in the rock band Piebald, Andrew Bonner traded his bass for a chef's knife, and is now a star in the kitchen, as the executive chef of The Blue Room and Belly Wine Bar.
Growing up in Andover, Massachusetts, while watching his grandmother prepare weekly Italian feasts for the family, Andrew first realized how eating a meal together fosters a connection among people. A graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, it was a random run-in with a music industry acquaintance that landed Andrew a spot behind the line at The Blue Room. He still remembers the feeling of intimidation and excitement working that first night; a memory that helps him remain modest yet driven as he works to maintain the integrity that owners, Nick and Liz, have kept for so long. Eight years later, Andrew has risen through the ranks (with the burns and scars to prove it) and now runs the very kitchen where he got his start.
Though his love of music and being on stage propelled him into the limelight, he always felt drawn to cooking and the creativity needed to succeed in this industry. Andrew loves to communicate with both the grill and the dining room, comparing it to his musician days when he felt the connection between his bass and the crowd. An artist at heart, his passion for entertaining people is apparent while he works in the open kitchen of The Blue Room, where his mission is to create "honest, wholesome and delicious food."
One of Andrew's favorite aspects of living in New England is the different flavor combinations, menu items and ingredients that he has access to with the changing seasons. He enjoys creating rustic dishes that evoke memories and a sense of nostalgia, such as cassoulet, big bowls of pasta and long, slow cooked braises. And while he loves preparing seafood, such as mackerel and bluefish, Andrew is most comfortable behind the grill cooking things more carnivorous in nature like grass-fed beef or Vermont lamb.
When he is not overseeing the kitchen at The Blue Room, Andrew enjoys spending time at home in Medford with his wife Amanda and their son, Arthur.