Executive chef Lynne Aronson uses her degree in fine arts to create sumptuous culinary masterpieces.
It’s Monday morning at Shubie’s in Marblehead. The FoodBar, where main and side dishes are displayed, is nearly sold out due to another busy weekend. A pleasing blend of aromas waft from the kitchen, where executive chef Lynne Aronson, wearing a crisp chef’s jacket and a warm, confident smile, works her magic. Soon after, an array of Aronson’s original culinary creations fills the food case, ready for the usual lunchtime crush and onslaught of catering orders. A hectic new week has begun.
Just back from a visit to her native Manhattan, Chef Aronson projects the energetic pace of the city. “I go to recharge, see friends—there’s no place like it,” Aronson says with a slight New York accent. “Then, I come back here…it’s the best of both worlds.” Chef Aronson, who lives in Beverly with her three beloved canine companions, has enjoyed “the best of both worlds” for nearly nine years since answering Shubie’s call for an executive chef for its ever-expanding family business. Before that, Aronson worked her way up the culinary ladder after graduating from New York Restaurant School, ultimately becoming chef and co-owner of Manhattan’s Lola. Named one of America’s “best young chefs” by Esquire, Aronson went on to co-author a cookbook called BowlFood.
Originally trained as a graphic artist with a degree in fine arts, Aronson finally yielded to her early love for cooking by using food as her artistic medium. She explains, “Cooking is art—it’s tactile, visual—you create a dish from start to finish. It’s very satisfying.” A progressive chef in tune with her customers’ desires, Aronson keeps a comment book out for helpful feedback. “The current trend is staying focused on eating lighter and healthier, with many preferring vegetarian/vegan meals.”
Although Aronson creates a diverse array of signature dishes, she especially enjoys giving some selections an Asian twist, like her grilled Korean beef skewers with honey tamarind sauce. “When it gets colder, [Shubie’s will] open our NoodleBar—Asian noodle dishes made to order—and our SoupBar will offer hearty stews and soups.” The SandwichBar continues to be a huge hit (selling up to 150 sandwiches a day), as is Aronson’s recent addition of a TacoBar, open on select days.
As Shubie’s has expanded over the years, so, too, have Aronson’s culinary talents. Aronson even hints that Shubie’s cafe-style FoodBar might “eventually evolve into a restaurant.” For now, Aronson’s fans and customers will have to wait and see. shubies.com.