Chef Ian Boden began his culinary journey in 1991 at age 13 with Master French Chef Marc Fusilier at Chez Marc in Manassas, Virginia. A lifelong love of food lead him to some of the country’s best kitchens before opening his community spirited, casual 26-seat restaurant, The Shack, in Staunton, Virginia in 2013. A culmination of his many culinary experiences, The Shack presents an innovative menu rooted in southern traditions and local ingredients, and offers service and food that one would not normally associate with its simplistic setting. Chef Boden and the restaurant have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, and Garden & Gun included them in both its “Best Burgers in the South” list as well as “Where We are Going in 2015.” Additionally, Southern Living recognized The Shack as a best new restaurant, Esquire tapped the restaurant for its “Best Dish” award in the 2014 Restaurant Issue and Boden received StarChefs.com’s Washington, DC Area Rising Stars Award.
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute, Boden has worked in many celebrated kitchens including Prince Michel Vineyard Restaurant in Leon, Virginia; Westfield’s International Conference Center in Chantilly, Virginia; and Payard Patisserie and Bistro as well as Judson Grill, both in New York City. Before returning to his roots in Virginia, Boden was the executive chef at Home Restaurant in New York City where he was included as a “Critic’s Pick” in the first addition of the Michelin Guide. Additional highlights from his culinary career include cooking for a sold-out event at the James Beard House in New York City; cooking with his mentor, Marc Fusilier, for the Escoffier 100th Anniversary Dinner; participating in Share Our Strength’s Taste of a Nation to help feed the hungry in New York; and cooking for Hillary Clinton’s New York Farm Day to promote local agriculture.
When Boden returned to Virginia after his time in New York, he opened his first restaurant, The Staunton Grocery in Staunton, Virginia in January 2007, receiving regional and national recognition in publications including Southern Living, Garden & Gun, The New York Times, The New York Post and The Washington Post, amongst many others. The restaurant received Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence and Boden’s recipes were published in Southern Living’s Cookbook, 1001 Ways to Cook Southern.
Boden closed The Staunton Grocery in December of 2011 and accepted the position of executive chef at Glass Haus Kitchen in Charlottesville, Virginia. Under his culinary leadership, the restaurant was recognized on Eater National’s Heat Map and garnered 2.5 stars (out of 4) from food critic Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post. Additionally, while at Glass Haus Kitchen, Boden was nominated for the Best Chef Mid-Atlantic award by the James Beard Foundation.
Boden currently has plans underway to open a second restaurant in Staunton, Virginia with chef and restaurant partner Charlie Brassard. The two chefs met while working at Judson Grill, and their upcoming collaboration will feature innovative cooking that incorporates the farm fresh, local produce for which Boden has become known in the region.
Boden lives in Staunton with his wife, Leslie, who is a potter and makes many of the serving pieces used in the restaurant, and their two children. Boden is proud to be instrumental in the development of the Shenandoah Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter, and continues to support forty plus local family farms through the ever-changing menu of his contemporary Virginian cuisine.
For FFF, Boden will cook at The "Best American Ham" Dinner at Southern Season Wednesday, Oct. 28th.