Slow Food for Fast Times
At Urban Hearth, we are guided by the principles of the Slow Food philosophy. We "envision a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet."
It's a simple idea really, but it profoundly shapes how we see ourselves as chefs and members of the community.
"Slow food" goes beyond simply making thoughtful choices about the ingredients and products we source. It's about stepping
back from the intensity of our day-to-day lives, and
recognizing that there is much to be learned and joy to be
had from sitting at a table together.
executive chef | owner |
Erin joins the decorated lineage of women chefs in Cambridge and is proud to count Urban Hearth among the small number of acclaimed woman-owned and led restaurants in the Boston area.
Classically trained at the French Culinary Institute of New York, Erin draws from her professional training under the mentorship of Blue Hill’s Dan Barber, her entrepreneurial skills running a culinary event company and her extensive instructional experience to create a unique dining experience. Urban Hearth opened its doors in 2016 and through Erin’s stewardship quickly established itself as one of Boston’s best kept secrets with a loyal following.
Throughout her career, Erin has been guided by a simple concept; that there is much to be learned and joy to be had when we gather around the table together. She diligently applies this philosophy beyond the dining table to her relationships with local farmers and producers, her team and her neighborhood community alike; bringing responsibility and care towards every step in the food system.
Originally from the Blue Ridge mountain town of Floyd, Virginia, Erin calls Cambridge home where she has lived with her husband and two sons since 2008 and is deeply engaged in the city’s vibrant
sous chef | biscuit maker
antique spoon collector
Tong Lee is our Junior Sous Chef at Urban Hearth and can be spotted in the kitchen manning the grill or in the service window, obsessing over perfect plating. His boundless energy is necessary fuel for his many trips up and down the prep kitchen stairs during dinner service.
Tong knew he wanted to work with food even as a young man, inspired by the traditional Korean food his mother cooked at home in Acton, MA. He would often try with difficulty to replicate the complex flavors in her food, feeling challenged to find the perfect recreation of mom’s home cooking. With time and effort he felt courageous enough to venture out into the wide culinary world, snagging his first gig at a local bakery. He started with the basics of sourdough bread making, but has learned many other techniques since his start.
Tong has a diverse palette that spans both ends of the food spectrum; either the unhealthiest and most convenient fast food after a long work day, or taking a day off to go on a fine dining adventure. He enjoys spending his free time with his girlfriend Diana searching antique shops for frames for Diana’s artwork and indulging Tong’s obsession with collecting antique spoons. They’ll also strap their two cats, Wednesday and (need name), into special backpacks and take them exploring in nature throughout the changing seasons.
assistant general manager |
community builder | will pet your dog
Abby hails from a long list of restaurant roles, starting as a server in a New England based clam shack at 15 years old. She has supported neighborhood favorites and Michelin star chefs alike with the same enthusiasm and devotion. When Abby spent some time outside of the industry, she found a role as an event manager, helping to build community through engagement and creating a sense of belonging for growing member bases.
Most recently she supported Harvard Square's Grendel's Den through their 50th year in business, creating a Patreon, a marketing campaign for their self produced podcast, and a retail store of collectible merchandise which you may have heard about on the Rachel Maddow show.
When she's not greeting you at the Urban Hearth door, she can be found walking her dog, Teddy, through the streets of North Cambridge, performing in one of her bands, or tending her back yard garden. Don't get her confused with her twin sister, Emily, who also works for us part time.