While other kids grew up watching Sesame Street, Chef Jason Santos grew up experimenting in his grandmother’s kitchen, watching and idolizing Julia Child. It was during his early years spent in the kitchen that Santos realized his passion for cooking – a passion he would spend the rest of his life cultivating. Santos began his culinary career at Andy Husbands’ Boston institution Tremont 647. Santos spent six years at Tremont 647 honing his personal style and rising in the ranks to Executive Chef. In 2005, Santos accepted the Executive Chef position at Gargoyles on the Square in Somerville’s Davis Square neighborhood.
Following his success in Boston’s best kitchens, Santos competed on Season 7 of Fox’s hit television show Hell’s Kitchen. Santos’ larger-than-life personality and culinary expertise quickly secured him as a fan favorite and garnered the attention of one of the industry’s top critics, Chef Gordon Ramsey. His successful run on the show concluded with a runner-up finish and a newfound national recognition. After Hell’s Kitchen wrapped, Santos returned to Boston to add restaurateur to his growing resume. In the summer of 2011, he opened Blue Inc., a creative American restaurant in Boston’s financial district. Within the next three years, Santos opened two more Boston mainstays- Abby Lane and Back Bay Harry’s.
Santos now divides his time as owner and Executive Chef at Abby Lane, a sleek, two-floor restaurant located in the heart of Boston’s Theater District, and at Back Bay Harry’s, an upscale bistro in its namesake neighborhood, the Back Bay. Santos’ cuisine at both concepts seamlessly combines Asian, French, and traditional American flavors, often incorporating molecular gastronomy techniques to create dazzling dishes that are as inventive as they are delicious. Santos further built his presence in the Boston dining scene by opening a new concept, Buttermilk and Bourbon, in early 2017. Located in the Back Bay, Buttermilk and Bourbon transports Bostonians to the Bayou by offering a taste of southern hospitality in the heart of the city.
Santos is also a recurring guest on the Today Show, the CBS Early Show, the CBS television show The Talk, and subsequent seasons of Hell’s Kitchen. Santos will appear regularly on the upcoming fifth season of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, rehabilitating failing restaurants and bars as a restaurant consultant alongside John Taffer. Furthermore, Santos has had the honor of cooking to sold-out crowds twice at the James Beard House; has captured the first place title three years running in the National Pork Board’s Statewide Annual Taste of Elegance event; has clinched second place in the National Pork Board’s annual nationwide Taste of Elegance championships; has been a judge for several notable cooking events; and has served as a culinary instructor at both Boston University and Cambridge Rindge and Latin’s culinary programs.