Douglass Williams, Chef/Owner, MIDA Boston, is a Food & Wine Best New Chef 2020, and a James Beard Foundation Semi-Finalist, Best Chef Northeast. Known for his deft technique with hand-made pasta, generous hospitality, and a smile and spirit that light up the room, Williams is committed to making a difference in both the kitchen and the community.
Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease as a teenager, Williams’ path took a left turn, as he learned how to heal himself through food. His journey brought him from his hometown of Atlantic City, NJ to culinary school, and then to traveling the world, learning from the best. From Thailand to Paris, New York City to Boston, he worked and staged at some of the best restaurants, including Radius and Coppa/Boston, Corton/NYC and Akarme/Paris.
While cooking at Coppa, Williams would cycle down Mass Ave where the South End meets Roxbury, and all he saw was opportunity – for change and the chance to create something meaningful. At the corner of Tremont Street and Mass. Ave., he created his first restaurant, MIDA, a neighborhood restaurant inspired by the simplicity of classic Italian culinary traditions. MIDA is one of the city’s favorite restaurants, earning top honors for “Best Restaurants in Boston” and “Best Pasta” and is a must-visit when in Boston.
Williams shares, “To be a Black chef/owner here in Boston is an honor and a responsibility I take very seriously. I am fortunate to have a successful restaurant, an incredible team and supportive community. I have things to say and share; I try to do it every night through delicious and beautiful dishes at MIDA. And by giving my time and energy to the neighborhood and those around me. I put my passion for story-telling and teaching to use by building bridges in the community through food and conversation. I believe the world can come together over a delicious bowl of pasta.”
Williams has two new projects in the works: APIZZA is set to open in the new Hub Hall, Boston and he has just announced plans to open a new restaurant in Newton, MA in Spring 2021.