One of Boston’s most creative and charismatic chefs, the blue haired Jason Santos has wowed guests with is innovative cuisine and his larger than life personality at his three bustling restaurants- Abby Lane, Buttermilk & Bourbon and Citrus & Salt.

While other kids grew up watching Sesame Street, Chef Jason Santos grew up experimenting in his grandmother’s kitchen watching, and idolizing, Julia Child. It was during his early years spent in the kitchen that Santos realized his passion for cooking- a passion he would spend the rest of his life cultivating.

After graduating from Newbury College’s culinary arts program, in Newton, MA at 19, Santos began his culinary career at Andy Husbands’ Boston institution Tremont 647. Santos spent six years at Tremont 647 honing his personal style and rising in the ranks to executive chef. In 2005, Santos accepted the executive chef position at Gargoyles on the Square in Somerville’s Davis Square neighborhood. While at Gargoyles on the Square, Santos’ innovative cuisine transformed the restaurant from neighborhood stalwart to out-of-town dining destination.

Following his success in Boston’s best kitchens, Santos competed on Season 7 of Fox’s hit television show Hell’s Kitchen. Santos’s larger-than-life personality and culinary expertise quickly secured him as a fan favorite and garnered the attention of one of the industry’s top critics, Chef Gordon Ramsey. His successful run on the show concluded with a runner-up finish and a newfound national recognition.

After Hell’s Kitchen wrapped, Santos returned to Boston to add restaurateur to his growing resume. In 2012, he opened Abby Lane, a creative American restaurant in Boston’s Theater District. Within the next five years, Santos opened two more Boston mainstays- Buttermilk & Bourbon and Citrus & Salt.

Santos now divides his time as owner and executive chef at Abby Lane, a sleek, two-floor restaurant located in the heart of Boston’s Theater District; Buttermilk & Bourbon, a New Orleans influenced restaurant with as much character and charm as the city itself; and at Citrus & Salt, a coastal Mexican restaurant in Boston’s Back Bay.

Santos is also a recurring guest on the Today Show, the CBS Early Show, the CBS television show The Talk, and subsequent seasons of Hell’s Kitchen. Santos will appear regularly on the upcoming fifth season of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue– rehabilitating failing restaurants and bars as a restaurant consultant alongside John Taffer.

Furthermore, Santos has had the honor of cooking to sold-out crowds twice at the James Beard House; has captured the first place title three years running in the National Pork Board’s Statewide Annual Taste of Elegance event; has clinched second place in the National Pork Board’s annual nationwide Taste of Elegance championships; has been a judge for several notable cooking events; and has served as a culinary instructor at both Boston University and Cambridge Rindge and Latin’s culinary programs.

Despite balancing two frenetic kitchens and media appearances, Santos donates his time each year to Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline, an organization dedicated to educating disadvantaged families on nutrition. As a board member and participating chef, Santos also plays a key role in Taste of the Nation, Share Our Strength’s benefit to eliminate childhood hunger. Santos lives in Woburn with his fiancée, Thuy, and their dog, Miso.

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