Big city chef sets up kitchen in Mattapoisett

Feb 17, 2013

Chef Marc Lewis might have grown up in New York City, but he prefers to make his dishes away from the bright lights and stressful kitchens of his hometown. With his farm to table approach to cooking, Lewis is bringing a whole new menu to Mattapoisett as the new chef of How on Earth.

Lewis originally studied anthropology and sustainable development at Appalachian State University in rural North Carolina.

“I don’t know if I considered the fact at the time that there are absolutely no jobs there,” said Lewis of his liberal arts education.

Lewis returned to New York City where he worked in the food industry.

But cooking, said Lewis, “is something I fell into.”

Lewis decided to go back to school and attended the French Culinary Institute in New York. After graduating, he worked for more than two years at restaurants in the city.

“I tended toward places that are farm to table,” he said.

As such, sourcing local ingredients from responsible farmers is a priority in Lewis’ kitchen.

In January, former How on Earth chef Colin Bradley, who recently relocated to another position in Fall River, handed the reigns over to Lewis. Days after moving into his home in New Bedford, Lewis began working on new recipes.

“I’m changing the menu entirely, and changing the sourcing,” said Lewis. “I’m always trying to go as local as possible.”

From ginger scones to fish tacos with citrus raisin slaw, Lewis said, “My philosophy is just to let the ingredients shine through.”

In his first week on the job, Lewis' fish cakes had already won over one regular customer.

“They’re smooth, not bitter, but sweet and delicious. You cannot beat them,” said Glenn Lukowicz.