MET Restaurant Group Chef Todd Winer comes from humble food beginnings. Perhaps that's why he's moved by the simplicity of briny West Coast Kumomoto oysters and finds inspiration when he lays his eyes on a basket of plump, rainbow-colored heirloom tomatoes.
Winer's passion for food was first ignited during his teenage years when he began a part time job in the kitchen of an Italian bistro. That led him into his interest in cooking where he learned the fundamentals of fine cooking at the New England Culinary Institute. After graduation his real culinary training began under renowned chefs including Charlie Palmer, Bobby Flay, Nancy Oakes and Todd English.
Winer spent eight years working alongside Todd English helping to build English's restaurant empire nationally and internationally. His tenure with English proved to be a life-changing experience. He worked in various roles within English's Olive Group Restaurants. All the while developing his own culinary style. During his stint at Olives Tokyo in Japan, Winer started to take a special interest in beef, learning to recognize and prepare the highest grades of beef, a skill that would later prove to be instrumental.
After his time in Tokyo, Winer was named the Executive Chef for Kingfish Hall in Boston where his experience in Japan brought a new level of technique and presentation to this New England seafood concept. His innovative menu ideas and streamlining of kitchen operations were instrumental in the restaurant's success and did not go unnoticed. While at Kingfish Hall, Winer began to receive the recognition that he truly deserved. He was invited to participate in many of the restaurant industry's prestigious events like the International Food Festival in Bangkok, numerous Food & Wine events, James Beard House dinners and Spinazzola dinners.
In 2006, Winer became the Executive Chef of The Metropolitan Club in Chestnut Hill, where he brings a remarkable variety of influences and styles to his new role. His taste for full-bodied flavors and eye-appealing arrangements comes from his adventures. "Some of my best ideas have come from my constant search for something new that will complete the puzzle. I search for old cookbooks; I draw inspiration from artwork and replicate the innovation of the design. I always knew I was artistic but it wasn't until I tried food as my medium that I knew I'd found my niche."
As Winer continued to develop his own menus and create signature dishes at The Metropolitan Club guests saw the imprint of his culinary journey on the plate - a unique combination of fearlessness and respect for tradition. His food, although classic, is enhanced by his sophisticated, well-traveled palate.
He took his worldly culinary experience into consideration when he helped owner Kathy Sidell Trustman create the second MET concept, the MET Bar and Grills in both Natick and Dedham. This concept is a more casual concept with a globally influenced burger bar in both locations.
Together with Sidell, they have recently launched the award-winning MET Back Bay, located on the corner of Newbury and Dartmouth Street in one of Boston's most posh neighborhoods. Chef Winer created several different themes within this venue including a ham and cheese bar featuring local hams, cured meats and cheeses that he helped hand select by visiting the farms where they are derived from. It also has an innovative menu featuring delicious small plate salads as well as larger dishes that compliment both a lunch and dinner crowd. It has already open to rave reviews and has become one of Boston's most welcomed dining destinations.
This summer, Winer helped launch the fifth location in the MET Restaurant Group family, MET on MAIN. MET on MAIN is located on Nantucket and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They restaurant has a tartare bar as well as a tiki bar on the back patio. Winer continues to offer innovative and creative takes on continental modern cuisine.