Chef Joshua Lewin explores food as a form of storytelling that transcends cultural differences and transforms strangers into friends. As Executive Chef and Owner of BSH, Lewin explores a wide range of themes and interests shaped by his personal encounters with hospitality and cuisine around the world. At the heart of his work is a belief in the power of a shared meal to bring people together to remember and create memories.
He was exposed to food service from a young age, growing his own food in his family’s garden in his early teens and eventually working on a dairy farm a few years later, as well as working in restaurant kitchens as a dishwasher and line cook while still in high school. Never one for singular interests, Josh was a valuable member of the high school wrestling team and boxing club and published his own alternative newspaper, Message From the Homeland when he grew dissatisfied with the direction of the school sponsored newspaper. But Lewin’s culinary career only fully took shape after completing a post 9/11 period of service with the United States Marine Corps.
Back in Boston, Lewin embarked on a culinary education, working as a stagière and on the line in top Boston kitchens including No. 9 Park, Craigie on Main, Clio, and Uni Sashimi Bar, and further afield at Charlie Trotter’s and Momofuku Noodle Bar. In 2010, he began working at Beacon Hill Bistro as sous chef, where under Chef Jason Bond, Lewin refined his classical French technique and learned about butchery, foraging, and truly seasonal cooking.
Promoted to executive chef when Bond left to open his restaurant Bondir, Lewin brought a new vision to the beloved bistro, earning critical praise from The Boston Globe, Boston magazine, and others. He also began exploring the possibilities of his craft in the tiny basement kitchen, crafting the small surprises that have become his signature.
In 2014, Lewin decided to leave Beacon Hill Bistro to further develop his own highly personal style of cooking and service informed by personal experience and travel. He took the opportunity to update his skills with time in the kitchens of Vikram Sunderam (Rasika, James Beard Award Winner) and Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn [two Michelin stars], Petit Crenn). Under the name Bread + Salt Hospitality, Lewin and his partner Katrina Jazayeri began hosting temporary dining events that explored a wide range of culinary themes before eventually building their first restaurant, Juliet, in the neighborhood where they live.
Lewin dedicates his efforts to a number of sustainability and education initiatives, including City Sprouts, Future Chefs, and Chefs Collaborative, and is a member of culinary organizations including the Butcher’s Guild, Slow Food USA, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and the James Beard Foundation. Lewin serves as a mentor for the Somerville Arts Council’s Nibble entrepreneurship program, connecting immigrant residents with the resources they need to build entrepreneurial careers in food service. He is also actively involved with the Marine Corps League and Ground Operations, a social action group that connects veterans with careers in agriculture. Actively involved in promoting both physical and mental health and wellness among restaurant industry workers, Lewin is also a competitive runner and sometimes boxer.
Lewin has cooked at the James Beard House several times, and was named a Zagat “30 Under 30” award winner in 2013. His writing and recipes have been featured in Food Arts, Eater Boston, Edible Boston, Remedy Quarterly, Chefs Feed, and the Huffington Post as well as various literary and news publications for short stories, personal essay, poetry, and opinion writing. When he is not working in the kitchen at Juliet —named one of Bon Appetit Magazine’s best 50 new restaurants in the country, Eater Boston’s Restaurant Of The Year, and The Boston Globe’s Best Of The New —Lewin enjoys writing, learning new languages, attempting to grow heirloom herbs in his garden at home, and lots of running.