In Boston, we already knew she was something special, but Tiffani Faison made a household name for herself nationally when she came in second place on Bravo’s reality show, Top Chef. She also participated in Top Chef’s Holiday Special and won the $20,000 prize.
Photo Credit: Mike Diskin4
Since then, Faison opened Sweet Cheeks Q near Fenway Park where she serves up heaping trays of southern style barbecue (think pork belly, pulled chicken, brisket and pork ribs). Her latest venture, Tiger Mama, allows her to dabble with southeast Asian inspired fare that travels from Malaysia to Vietnam.
Photo Credit: Mike Diskin
Tiger Mama is located just a few blocks away from Sweet Cheeks, but like any sibling, the menu here couldn’t be more different. Dishes here include lobster curry, smoked lamb ribs and tumeric marinated halibut. We caught up with her recently to find out what she loves most about Boston.
Where were you born: Bremerhaven, Germany
How long in Boston: In total, 11
Neighborhood: Jamaica Plain
Occupation: Chef/Restaurateur of Tiger Mama and Sweet Cheeks
Favorite Restaurant: Changes all the time.
Best Sushi: Café Sushi
Best dessert: Harvest
Best place for a romantic date: Oleana
Best Sunday brunch: Straight Wharf, Nantucket
Best place for a power business meeting: Bristol Lounge, Four Seasons
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? XV Beacon in the winter, The Verb in the summer
Favorite shopping venue/boutique: COS
Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: Michele Mercaldo in the South End
Best Spa: Bella Sante
Favorite Charity Event: Lovin’ Spoonful’s Annual Tailgate
Favorite Cultural Event: Marathon Monday, it’s so unique to us, so inspirational and so much fun!
Favorite Cultural Institution: The Boston Athenaeum. It’s a gem that not many young people have invested their time or interest in, but it’s incredible and leaves you in awe of our history.
Best Steakhouse: Mooo
Best Pizza: Picco or Santarpio’s
Best Lunch: Select Oyster
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Equinox
Best Massage: Bella Sante
Best Limousine/Driving Service: Dave El
Best Museum/Exhibit: Depends on the exhibit, we’re so fortunate to be ensconced in world class museums. ICA in the summer to inspire and refresh me, Isabella Steward Gardner when I need to clear my head.
Describe Boston in three words: Innovative, Proud, Emergent
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: The Charles River in a canoe, Nantucket, the Arboretum with my pup.
All-around favorite spot in Boston: Any high spot with a gorgeous view in the summer, walking through the garden in the evening. It’s so easy to be in love with this city.
Best Aspect of Boston: Our ability to understand collectively what being a Bostonian means and to extend that sense of culture to more people from various backgrounds all the time. We have an acute sense of space and time in this city and as we grow, we become richer for it.