"Hell's Kitchen" alum Jason Santos is back with his latest concept
The gist: In February, Hell's Kitchen runner-up chef Jason Santos opened Buttermilk & Bourbon, his homage to New Orleans–inspired cuisine in the middle of Boston's Back Bay. Less than a year later, he's rolling out Citrus & Salt, a Mexican-inflected eatery that officially opens on November 27. Citrus & Salt represents a total overhaul of the space that formerly housed Santos' New American restaurant Back Bay Harry's. After parting ways with his eponymous co-owner in that venture, Santos wanted to give the address a "total reinvention," he says. And why not? He's feeling pretty rejuvenated himself. "This is the happiest I've been as a chef," says Santos. "I feel like I've found a lane."
2017 brought Santos two openings, a series of appearances on the Spike TV show Bar Rescue and merchandising opportunities like a just-launched line of barbecue sauces. Plus his other Boston restaurant, Abby Lane, admirably chugs along. But he says his upbeat attitude has more to do with rediscovering the pure joy of his work than external successes. "I wanted Buttermilk & Bourbon and Citrus & Salt to be fun and funky. I didn't wake up one morning thinking I was going to win a James Beard award for it," says Santos. "I think for a while I took myself so seriously. I was trying to be the big chef. But I love what I do, and whether that wins me something or not — I don't even think about that anymore. I just want to love everything I'm doing." FULL ARTICLE