The world of cooking is nothing new for Max Brody, 34, who was raised in Newton, MA and was named for the main character in Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are. He is the son of cookbook authorLora Brody. Max's culinary background includes working for Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans; stints in Italy, Thailand and Taipei; and co-authoring, with his mother, the cookbook Stuff It.
Chef and owner of The Night Kitchen in Montague, Max Brody has spent the last 20 years working in professional kitchens around the country and the globe. He mentored under Emeril Lagasse on the opening crew of NOLA in New Orleans, LA, learned traditional Northern Italian cuisine from Lorenza de Medici at Badia Coltibuono in Tuscany and gained knowledge of French Haute Cuisine from working in the kitchens of Maison Robert in Boston. After working in Santa Fe, New Mexico and opening a restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan, he received a Bachelors degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and went on to work as a private estate chef in Philadelphia, PA. When he returned to Massachusetts, he ran the executive dining rooms at MassMutual in Springfield and opened The Night Kitchen in the spring of 2004.
The Night Kitchen
About the Restaurant
(By Alison Arnett, Boston Globe Staff) The Night Kitchen is located at the Montague Mill in Montague, Massachusetts. The Montague Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places and has had long and interesting history, from 1834 as a grist mill to its current status as destination for fine dining, as well as a used bookstore, café, antique shop, crafts shop and artists studio.
To find the Night Kitchen, you drive -- and drive -- down the winding rural roads of Montague in the lush Pioneer Valley. When you come upon the restaurant, tucked behind the Book Mill and an antique shop, and perched above the rushing waters of the little creek, you might reasonably feel that you've fallen into a dream, or a child's picture book. Here, Max Brody and his business partner, Peter Hitchcock, have crafted a gem of a place that melds charmingly into its landscape.
Night Kitchen's menu draws from Brody’s travels to New Orleans, Italy, Thailand and Taipei, with a roasted chicken with blackberry barbecue sauce, grilled swordfish with black olive tapenade, and sesame-crusted fried tempeh with sweet soy and ginger glaze. The spirit that underlies the food, though, clearly reflects Brody's cooking philosophy, which is a connection between his cuisine and the locale. ''This is a pretty rural, agrarian community," he says. His customers -- professionals from Springfield, academics from the Five Colleges area around Amherst, and entrepreneurs -- are knowledgeable about food, Brody says. They appreciate locally made olive oil; prize-winning cheese from Colrain; eggs and naturally raised poultry from Wendell; and produce, herbs, and flowers from Seeds of Solidarity, a nonprofit farm and educational project in Orange. He wants his restaurant to do its part to sustain local small farms and the agrarian lifestyle, he says.
In this idyllic spot, it's hard not to think of his Night Kitchen as the stuff of storybooks.