JEFFREY P. FOURNIER
Jeffrey P. Fournier grew up in an untraditional culinary environment. In his French-Armenian home, delicacies such as raw lamb kibee were a regular part of his grandmother's menu. For Fournier, this exposure to eccentric dishes resulted in a fascination for the kitchen, a space that he often chose over the playground.
By 1991, at the age of 23, Fournier had left his native Amesbury, Massachusetts, and headed to California to explore the culinary world on the West Coast. His first job was as a line cook at the renowned Rockenwagner in Santa Monica, where Chef Hans Rockenwagner himself taught Fournier Austrian-Californian cuisine. Just two years later in 1993, he earned the position as sous chef at Café Montana, also in Santa Monica. At this Italian-Californian restaurant, Fournier broke from the norm with his fried linguini with wild flowers and carrot pesto with linguini, roasted lamb and fried basil among his most popular creations. A star was born.
Three years later, Fournier moved back to his hometown and found himself at the upscale Pignoli under Chef Daniel Baliani, learning the fundamentals of Baliani's contemporary flare and Marco Polo cooking-cuisine influenced by the countries once traveled by the explorer, including China, India and East Africa. Once Fournier learned all of Baliani's secrets, he left Pignoli and joined the team at the Linwood Grill. A few years later, the critically acclaimed Chef Lydia Shire wooed Fournier away from the Linwood Grill and into the position of Sous Chef in the city famous 125 year-old Locke-Ober kitchen. Fournier then moved to Chef Shire's well-regarded Excelsior.
Whenever given the opportunity to create his own special on any of the menus in any of the restaurants he has worked for, Fournier's creations always wound up with some Latin influence. Whether it be from befriending kitchen staff from Colombia or the Mexican cuisine he experienced when living in California, Fournier's signature culinary style is truly Latin inspired.
This revelation of sorts led Fournier to the executive chef position at Sophia's, a Latin restaurant and club located in Boston's Fenway district, in 2004. Here, Fournier created Latin inspired small plate menu combined with food and liquor pairings, without discrimination. From the shrimp and calamari tacos, the handmade hibiscus liquor with bresaola, and the tuna ceviche, there are flavors of all regions of Latin America.
Fournier felt The Metropolitan Club was the ideal place to further exhibit his talent and run wild with his imagination by putting a twist on a traditional steakhouse as the Executive Chef, and left Sophia's in 2005. His signature dish - watermelon steak - is just one of the many examples of the carefully chosen blend of ingredients Fournier created at The Metropolitan Club.
The best part of Fournier's creativity is that is does not stop in the kitchen. In late 2006 when an opportunity presented itself for a new space where he could blend his creativity for art and food, Fournier could not resist. As such, 51 Lincoln was born and, as they say for all creative minds, the sky is the limit. After enjoying great success Fournier continues to strive to make 51 Lincoln the best restaurant it can be.