He may have cooked his way from London and Amsterdam to California, but chef Jeremy Sewall’s culinary heart beats strongest for New England and its seafood. As chef-co-owner (with his wife, pastry chef Lisa Sewall) of the Brookline, Massachusetts, restaurant Lineage, Sewall serves up dishes like Cape Cod bluefish with radicchio and tomatillo panzanella, grilled red onion and pickled peaches, or seared day-boat Scituate scallops with wheat berries, corn, zucchini, and piquillo “sorfrito.” Over at Boston’s Commonwealth Hotel, Sewall’s Island Creek Oyster Bar has a direct relationship with fishermen, and just-caught seafood is the star as it is at his neighborhood restaurant Row 34. And at brasserie Eastern Standard, where he’s the collaborating chef, he’s got Euro standards like mussels Provençal and bratwurst with rösti on the menu.
Sewall got the taste for just-from-the-water Atlantic seafood during childhood summers spent on the Maine coast. But it was a few years before he’d return to it as a chef. After graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of America, and doing a European tour, he cooked at French-inspired Boston restaurant L’Espalier (where he also met his future wife, Lisa, who was then pastry chef). At Bradley Ogden’s acclaimed Lark Creek Inn, in Larkspur, California, Sewall was rapidly promoted to chef, and was nominated for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award in 2000 before returning to Boston as executive chef for the opening of Great Bay.
Lisa and Jeremy launched Lineage (its name referring to Sewall’s familial roots in Brookline) in 2006, featuring what the Boston Globe called a “fish-centric cuisine that edged into fusion to a resolutely American way of looking at a menu. . . strong on ingredients and light on manipulation.” His longstanding relationships with farmers and fisherman have led to Lineage’s Whim series of farm dinners. And his sense of community led to his involvement with nonprofit Lovin’ Spoonfuls, which distributes to those in need restaurants’ healthy, perishable food that would otherwise be discarded. “I’m lucky that I’m in a position to help,” says Sewall of his Spoonfuls work, “I do it because it just makes sense.”