Honeycomb Creamery. Photo via Facebook.

Just Back From: Boston with Jan Wichayanuparp

Written by Lauren Loftus Category: Q&A Issue: December 2017

Wichayanuparp dining on pig ears at Gourmet Dumpling House
Let’s hear it for the girls. In September, Jan Wichayanuparp, one half of the lady-led team behind the Valley’s favorite ice creamery Sweet Republic, traveled to Boston for the James Beard Foundation Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. She was one of 20 women selected to attend the prestigious fellowship – a five-day business boot camp of courses, lectures and mentorship at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

“I was there with people who are James Beard [Award] nominees, who are running Food & Wine best restaurants. I was pretty awed by the people I got to learn with,” Wichayanuparp says. “As women, we do bring different things to the table, a unique viewpoint and execution, and I think that matters.”

Though there was “no free time” during the fellowship, Wichayanuparp made sure to tack a few days on to the end of her stay to taste test as much as she could in Boston, and gave us the highlights.

“There was seafood everywhere, that’s what I really liked about Boston,” Wichayanuparp says. One must-visit on her list was Mooncusser Fish House (mooncusserfishhouse.com), headed up by fellow James Beard fellow Chef Carolyn Johnson, where she dined on seared gnocchi with uni and mushrooms. Another score: the “tiny” Haley.Henry (haleyhenry.com), which is “basically just counter eating with a couple tabletops” featuring imported varieties of tinned fish.

“The thing that surprised me most about Boston was how good the Chinese food was. There were some late-night places, some good Northern Chinese [cuisine],” says Wichayanuparp, who once worked in finance in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. She recommends the grilled lamb skewer and hand-pulled noodles at Gene’s Chinese Flatbread Café (genescafe.com) and late-night dumplings at Gourmet Dumpling House (gourmetdumplinghouse.com), open until 1 a.m.

Of course an East Coast/West Coast ice cream showdown had to happen on Wichayanuparp’s watch. Not really, though she did like the artisanal flavors like honey-lavender at Honeycomb Creamery (honeycombcreamery.com) and loved the B3 (brown sugar, brown butter, brownies) at Toscanini’s (tosci.com) in Cambridge. “It’s not avant-garde in terms of flavor, but really, really well-executed.”