Completely in charge and confident, Chef Rebecca Newell is a leader and the force behind the global comfort food featured at The Beehive in the South End. We caught up with Rebecca on a recent Friday morning, her feet energetically shuffling across the wide kitchen space as we chatted about our favorite restaurants, her culinary background and the story behind The Beehive. She is beyond excited and passionate about food, we keep pace with her, following her back and forth from station to station while her devoted sous chefs prep for the night ahead. We’re making Moroccan Couscous with chicken and lamb and it’s a treat watching this Chopped-winning chef get to work. After buzzing (pun intended?) through a quick vegetable prep including summer squash, haricot verts and curry-roasted cauliflower, she pulls out a special vegetable stock with cabbage and saffron to give everything an extra boost. It’s these types of steps that set her apart; never missing an opportunity to add flavor, Chef Rebecca is able to adapt on the fly, but seemingly has a plan the entire time.
After finding out we’re Polish, Rebecca is eager to feed us her Pierogi, and that’s a constant theme of the day; making people happy through food. We’re frequently tasting and adjusting along the way, because in order to truly encapsulate what cooking is about you really need to keep tasting, seasoning and thinking about what the finished product should be like. The couscous was of course a delight, but when it’s made by such a talented chef that’s pretty much a no-brainer. Chef Rebecca is an old-school chef; her enthusiasm for food, her craft and care for making each dish she serves memorable is the perfect example of why everyone in the business does what they do.
The Beehive has always been one of our favorites and we’re not alone in thinking that. With its bright, bohemian theme, it was a treat to see what is normally a jam packed dining room, so quiet. “We did 300 covers last night” Rebecca says, hiding any signs of exhaustion well. The restaurant’s canine mascot Max scurries through the dining room, hoping one of us will drop a pierogi his way. No such luck, buddy, these are good – buttery and crackly in the way that only a good pierogi can be, it’s laced with sweet caramelized onions and tangy sour cream.
The set up of the Beehive is to reflect a closeness. And the point is that food actually becomes a communal experience. It’s meant to encourage people seated at different tables to get to know each other and focus on attracting a diverse population and serving eclectic food to match, to help get the conversation started. We can’t help but appreciate the Beehive even more, knowing that an energetic and driven chef is back there working to create the food that makes this happening spot such a great destination..