Evan Mallett grew up outside of Boston, but his grandparents were from Portsmouth. He remembers trips to Portsmouth as a child and remembers it as a bedraggled port town where he wasn’t allowed to walk down a lot of the streets.
Years later he met his wife in Boston. On a dinner date sitting in the window of Lindbergh’s Crossing overlooking the harbor, Evan’s future wife convinced him to pursue his true passion of cooking and they moved to Portsmouth. The building where they had that lunch was originally the home of the Blue Strawbery, a legendary restaurant that many argue Portsmouth was built around. Coincidentally many years later that same building became the Black Trumpet.
Portsmouth is a destination for a greater food conversation.
Evan believes that chefs have a duty to get involved at the community level and that they can help keep the community grounded to it’s traditions. This belief system is apparent in his Heirloom Harvest Project – started with his wife to help address the critical loss of biodiversity in the world. This local sustainability program distributes heirloom seeds to other chefs and farmers. Helping to protect these important natural resources and foster and protect the stories that surround them.
Evan will be releasing his first book in September of 2016. In it he tells the story of how the Black Trumpet became influential as a model for local food sourcing and community involvement―but it also traces the growth and evolution of the local food movement.
His biggest concern is unregulated growth, he believes we can grow as a community is a thoughtful unified way.
In 2011, 2013 and 2014 Evan was named as a James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef, Northeast. He is actively involved and sits on the boards of Chef’s Collaborative, Slow Food Seacoast
We caught up with Evan at his restaurant and got a crash course in different types of foods, spice blends, and biodiversity.
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Fill it with soup or java
You can’t always have yummy soup from the Black Trumpet to fill it, but you can always fill it with Portsmouth pride.