Moona Restaurant Executive Chef Mark Christian McMann insists he’s a butcher first and chef second. However, he has quite the pedigree in culinary skills. McMann is the Executive Chef at Moona Restaurant, an Eastern Mediterranean eatery in Cambridge’s Inman Square. Moona, which loosely translates to “pantry” draws on the authentic influences of Turkey, Morocco, Greece, and more, and elevates their traditional cuisine to appeal to today’s modern New England palate.
McMann began his culinary journey attending Johnson & Wales University, where he received his Associate in Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts, followed by his Bachelor’s Degree in Food Marketing. After finishing college, he spent the next 17 years working in New York City. Climbing his way up from Executive Sous Chef at Anthos (since closed) and Kefi, where he held a 1 Michelin star leadership position, to becoming Sous Chef, AGM and more of eXo, running the overall operation of the 48 seat bistro in Whitestone, New York.
In 2011, McMann left New York to come back home to Boston. He worked as the Executive Sous Chef at the Bistro du Midi, then later as the Chef de Cuisine at Ashmont Grill. He spent over a year as the Tournant, or “relief-cook”, at Shepard, where he was specifically tasked to help through their opening period and established station standards and cooking procedures that are still practiced today. The experience at Shepard is one of the highlights of McMann’s culinary tenure. Meanwhile, he also simultaneously held the title of Chef Consultant at Feather & Wedge. His tasks included advising chef duties to the newly built restaurant/bar from kitchen design, to workflow, to equipment selection, menu layout, and more.
In addition to his Executive Chef role at Moona, McMann has taken on the title of owner. The Little Pig & Potato Pickling Company out of Rockport, Massachusetts, is where he runs his cyber-based business where he acts as custom craft butcher, traditional pickler and preserver, sausage maker, and custom spice kit purveyor. He has been recognized in 2015 at the Boston Fermentation Festival Judge’s and People’s Pick for 1st place in Best Pickle, as well as Boston Magazine’s best neighborhood brunch in 2014 for Ashmont Grill.