Joshua Foley, Executive Chef & Owner
My dream of owning my own restaurant began with my great Aunt Fran, who made my childhood delicious with her elaborate dinners, fancy French desserts and breakfasts that included homemade cinnamon raisin bread. I began my professional path in high school, when I began working in restaurants—making my way up from dishwasher to garde manger and always keeping my eyes and ears open. I eventually landed a job at the Harvest in Cambridge, where I became executive chef and had the good luck to meet my wife, Jessica, the restaurant’s general manager. Opportunities moved me to San Francisco, where I was mentored by Judy Rodgers at Zuni Café. The menu changed daily and utilized what was locally available and in peak season, practices that I utilize to this day.
I then moved back to Boston, started a family, and took on new professional challenges: managing large kitchen staffs at the newly renovated Harvest and Grill 23, both of which received Best of Boston awards during my tenure. Following these stints, I then became a corporate chef at Sysco Boston, consulting on food and labor costs, menu design and content, as well as marketing.
All of these roads have led to me to Avenue, where I can take the best of what I’ve learned and apply it with my heart, hands and mind. Opening this restaurant has allowed me to do what I love, supported by a great staff and surrounded by my family: my wife, Jessica, our four children Grace, Luke, Ryan, and Amelia, and our dog, Mae.
Corey Comeau, Chef & Operations Manager
Bringing broad restaurant experience to Team Avenue.
Corey, a Massachusetts native, grew up as the world’s pickiest eater. So how you ask, did he find a passion for food and being a chef/restaurateur? Fortune and chance. Looking for a summer job to buy a BMX bike at the age of 13, Corey found himself in the employ of a chef with a willingness to teach a young tyke a thing or two about a thing or two. Roughly 30 (*cough*cough) some-odd years later, he’s now worked in every position a restaurant has to offer, from dishwasher to executive chef, from busser to operations manager. While doing this for really great chefs/restaurateurs/owners, including Certified Master Chef Walter Leible, Stephanie Sokolove (of Stephanie’s Restaurant Group) and Barbara Lynch, Corey finds himself with a life’s worth of experience to offer Avenue. Individual accolades and accomplishments aside (he’s a Food Network Chopped Champion – seriously!) Corey now finds his greatest satisfaction in teaching a thing or two about a thing or two to the eager, willing and able staff of Avenue. Always looking for another adventure, Corey loves to travel and learn with all 50 states and 22 countries under his belt. And if he’s not at the restaurant, he’s probably golfing.
Yannick Mahe des Portes, General Manager
A native of Ile de Re, a small island off the western coast of France, Yannick studied Hotel Management at the prestigious Lycée hotelier de La Rochelle. Upon completing his education, he worked at the Four Seasons Hotel in Paris for several years. He then took to the high seas as a server on the SS Norway (the flagship of Norwegian Cruise Lines), where he was quickly promoted to manager. After two years, he decided to disembark, leaving the ship for the esteemed White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine and then the Himmel Hospitality Group in Boston. Yannick quickly moved up the ladder into management positions both at Harvest and Grill 23, gradually becoming assistant general manager of Grill 23—a job he held for 15 years, until moving on to Avenue.
Yannick’s impressive background translates into a delightful dining experience for Avenue guests. He is equally skilled at efficient management and delivering thoughtful service with a personal touch.
Nicole Travers, Bar Captain
Nicole has both back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house skills, honed from her 20 years of working in diners, bakeries and restaurants around the Boston area. She comes to Avenue from Deep Ellum in Allston, where she gained appreciation for well-crafted beer and cocktails.
Nicole is a core establishing member of the Avenue team, coming on board before we opened to develop our beverage philosophy. Her mission is to provide guests with draft beer from small breweries around New England, cocktails made with as many local and hand-made ingredients as possible, and wines from around the world that embody "taste of place”.
Nicole and her husband (and their dog) live close to the restaurant. When not at Avenue, she’s on the search for small-batch products and experimenting with new flavor combinations for cocktails. Her favorites are usually “slow sippers” , since she enjoys seeing how the taste can transform over time.
Brigid Charest, Pastry Chef
Growing up in Syracuse, New York, Brigid never dreamed of working in a kitchen. She moved to Boston after college and spent several years in office jobs that were perfectly fine (yet utterly boring) before deciding to go back to school for something she was passionate about: food. She received her Associates in Baking and Pastry from Bunker Hill Community College, and then embarked on her career. She was fortunate to work with talented chefs at Grill 23 in Boston and Commonwealth in Cambridge.
When Brigid and her husband moved out of the city, she decided to look for a job closer to their home. She happened to see an article about Avenue’s opening, and when she read that chefs Josh and Corey were Grill 23 alumni, she took it as a sign to apply. She is thrilled to be part of team Avenue, where she can live out one of her favorite mottoes: chocolate fixes almost everything.
Ryan Bethel, Sous Chef
Living in a house with a large family means someone is always hungry. Ryan, the oldest of six children, was determined not to be that one. Learning mostly from his father, Ryan took to cooking quickly and as soon as he was old enough he got a job in a small Italian restaurant close to home. Ryan didn't know exactly what he was getting into. Skipping the usual route of dishwashing first, he was thrown right into the fire or more technically into the cold by starting on garde manger at 15. Working, learning and progressing at a quick pace, he found himself with a desire to learn even more. So, in the fall of 2014 Ryan enrolled at Newbury College in Brookline, MA where he ultimately received an Associates in Culinary Arts. While attending Newbury he completed internships at places like Fenway Park and Lineage in Coolidge Corner. Having found a passion for food and an affinity for the Art in Culinary Arts, Ryan continues to push himself to learn, experience and experiment. Broadening his exposure around the city, he was referred to Avenue by one of his past Chefs, who had the confidence in Ryan to put his own name on the line. Starting as a prep cook, Ryan quickly worked his way up the ladder to become Avenue’s first Sous Chef.