The Team

 

Ben Elliott, Chef/Farmer

As Chef, Farmer and Owner of Saltbox Farm, Ben oversees all elements of the farm-to-table journey – playing an active daily role in planting, harvesting, preparing and serving their cuisine. 

Prior to Saltbox Farm, Ben's 20 year career includes time spent at La Folie and the Fifth Floor under Chef Laurant Gras in San Francisco and the famed Locke-Ober in Boston. His most recent restaurant post was with chef Barbara Lynch in Boston as Chef de Cuisine at No.9 Park, opening Lynch’s demonstration kitchen Stir, and launching Lynch’s catering company 9 at Home as Chef de Cuisine.  In addition to fine dining, Ben also worked with some of the area’s most well-known gourmet shops, Hi-Rise Bakery and Formaggio Kitchen, which influences the quality of the prepared foods at Saltbox Kitchen.

A native of Wayland, MA, Ben has called Saltbox Farm and Concord, MA home since 2004.  Before moving to the farm, Ben spent summers tending to it alongside his grandparents, the original owners.  Ben attended Hartwick College in New York, where he met his wife Julia. He and Julia have 2 children, Sam and Maggie.

 

Aran Goldstein, Head Chef

As Head Chef, Aran puts his international culinary training to work overseeing food operations for Saltbox Kitchen, creating and teaching cooking classes and helping to develop menus for Saltbox Farm catering. Aran joined Saltbox Farm in 2013 and has helped develop bothThe Little House cooking school and Saltbox Farm’s rapidly expanding catering business.

In his first kitchen role, Aran helped open Clink under Chef Joseph Margate at the Liberty Hotel in Boston, where he quickly rose to the position of Sous Chef.  An avid international traveler, Aran then pursued stages in three Michelin Star restaurants in Italy:  Agrodolce in Imperia Oneglia, Liguria, as well as Piccolo Principe and Ristorante Romano, both in Viareggio, Tuscany.  Impressed by Aran’s skill and creativity in Italy, he was invited to southern China as a culinary consultant for the opening of an Italian restaurant in the resort town of Sanya.  Returning back to the United States, Aran discovered his love of teaching cooking at Sur La Table’s flagship Manhattan location, where he quickly built a private client base both as a chef and instructor.

Originally from Worcester, MA, Aran is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT.  He also holds a Bachelor degree in Sociology, with a minor in Spanish from Northeastern University.  Off the farm and out of the kitchen, Aran plays tennis with his wife Karolina and dreams of their next travel adventure together.

 

Ralph Fiegel, Operations Manager & Head Brewer

As Operations Manager and Head Brewer for Saltbox Kitchen, Ralph helps ensure smooth processes for the restaurant and catering operations. A member of the Saltbox team since 2012, Ralph has been instrumental in building up the farm infrastructure, while growing the catering business and assisting with the cooking school at Saltbox Farm, including teaching beer-making classes and beginning Saltbox's brewing operations. Most recently, Ralph has led the establishment of Saltbox Kitchen’s craft brewery, utilizing ingredients grown at Saltbox Farm. 

Ralph’s culinary career began under world-class chefs Odette Fada in New York City and Dan Smith in the Berkshires, leading him to Chef Barbara Lynch, where he spent nine years working his way up from line cook to back-of-house controller for all Barbara Lynch restaurants.  It was through Lynch’s No. 9 Park that he met Ben Elliott.

Born and raised in Pittsfield, MA, Ralph is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and an avid fisherman in his free time.  He and his wife Nikki live in Grafton, MA.

 

Emily LeSuer, Catering Chef

An invaluable member of the Saltbox Catering team, Emily joined Saltbox Farm in 2013 after receiving her degree with high honors from Le Cordon Bleu in Cambridge, MA.

At Saltbox Farm, Emily’s love for the idea of growing your own food and caring for animals has been reaffirmed. When not preparing food for events, you might find her with her “girls” in the chicken coop or harvesting crops in the field. She is also excited to be able to translate her background in business operations and leadership to the kitchen.

Emily grew up just down the road from Concord in Hudson, MA in a large family where sitting down to dinner was not just about food, but also about sharing and being present in the moment. One could say that her inspiration to become a chef came from her father (a chef himself) or even the food on her plate, but the driving force that ignited such passion was how food can bring people together. Laughter, conversation, and the memories created at the table with family and friends have been, and continue to be, one of the most important aspects of her life.

Emily currently lives in Brighton with her husband Jim and their dog Kaiah.


history of 84 commonwealth avenue


What is now 84 Commonwealth Avenue was known as the Association Hall building, originally built in 1893 and burned in September, 1903.

When the building was rebuilt, the first floor housed the Rexall Store run by C. Hayden Whitney. On the second floor were offices, and the Association Hall, which according to residents, was “a mainstay on the social life for the West Concord community”. Movies, dances and minstrel shows were held in the Hall. On the third floor was the Odd Fellows Hall, which was used for all the local fraternal organizations. An original cell door used when men at the Odd Fellows Hall had imbibed too much still remains in the modern 84 Commonwealth Building. The building served as the center of West Concord’s social and community activity.

We hope that with the opening of Saltbox Kitchen, the building will yet again become a center of activity in West Concord.
 


partners

fazenda-coffee-roasters.png