Meet the Chefs…Chef Michael Rostafin of Miel

Chef Michael Rostafin

With more than a decade in the industry, chef Michael Rostafin is the Restaurant Chef at Miel, a Provence-themed Brasserie located in the award-winning InterContinental Boston. He skillfully applies his market-driven culinary inspirations to each menu offered in the three-meal signature restaurant, as well as RumBa Rum & Scotch Lounge, and seasonal Five-10 Waterfront. Rostafin and his team focus on contemporary French cuisine with clean flavors and local, seasonal ingredients, elevating brasserie fare without overwhelming flavors or excessive accoutrements.  ‘We like to grow the ingredient to taste like that ingredient, prepared simply, but really, really well”, said Rostafin.

Rostafin often passes through local farmer’s markets for inspiration and strives to source produce from within the property; a 5th floor hotel roof deck beehive supplies a biannual honey-centered menu, a farm-to-table concept Rostafin plans to expand upon.  On Rostafin’s French-style brasserie menu, he has fine-tuned the food offerings while incorporating international influences.

Rostafin studied Music Education and Trumpet Performance at Ithaca College. After teaching two years of teaching in New Haven, Connecticut, he put his education career on hold to explore his lifelong passion to cook professionally. He joined a well-known Connecticut catering company located in lower Fairfield County and absorbed every piece of culinary knowledge he could get his hands or eyes on.  From there, Rostafin jumped into his first professional kitchen joining Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun Casino. After three years working under Chef de Cuisine Leia Gaccione, Rostafin met his future wife at a Laurent Gras James Beard dinner in New York City.  In pursuit of love and a culinary career, he moved to Manhattan and joined Todd English’s Crossbar as a Sous Chef and shortly Chef de Cuisine. Nine months later Rostafin moved to Todd English’s Ca Va Brasserie at the Intercontinental Hotel in Times Square as Chef de Cuisine.

Rostafin and his wife left Manhattan’s West Village in early 2016 for Boston’s South End. Rostafin took on the role of Chef de Cuisine at the Forbes Five Star Boston Harbor Hotel Meritage Restaurant and Wine Bar. After just under a year at the Boston Harbor Hotel, Rostafin moved up the street to the InterContinental Hotel where he currently resides as the Restaurant Chef.

A native from Newtown Connecticut, Rostafin currently resides in Boston’s South End with his wife and cat.  He is a member of the Massachusetts Audubon, International Trumpet Guild, and United States Golf Association.  In his spare time, Rostafin enjoys mountain biking, hiking, golfing and fishing.  If Rostafin is not in the kitchen at InterContinental Boston he is most likely found fishing or relaxing on Cape Cod.

Please visit Miel and enjoy their special dessert that will raise money for breast cancer research.


Meet the Chefs…Sarah Williams, Head Baker Seven Stars Bakery

Sarah William, Head Baker Seven Stars Bakery

Sarah hails from Pennsylvania, where she grew an affinity for baking and pastry. Prior to attending Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Sarah worked at Crossroads Bake Shop. Sarah has been an integral part of the Seven Stars Bakery team for 13 years, leading both the Pastry and Bread Departments as the Production Manager and Head Baker. Sarah enjoys creating new recipes and all things fermented.

Sarah always creates a delicious cookie for Rhode Island Bakes for Breast Cancer. Visit any of their three locations and get their cookie that raises money for breast cancer research.


Meet the Chefs… Pastry Chef Deanne Steffen Chinn of Fool’s Errand

Pastry Chef Deanne Steffen Chinn

As a child growing up in Manchester, NH, Dee was always interested in cooking. She spent countless hours observing, learning, and working in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother. At 13, she was fortunate to witness for the first time a 6-foot wedding cake being made. Dee marveled at the care and attention to detail that went into the cake and she knew right there and then that she wanted to work with desserts. Little did she know she was about to embark on a successful career in Pastry Arts.
After graduating from high school, Dee immediately sought out her childhood dream by attending Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). She quickly expanded her interests and obtained her Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from SNHU in 2002 with a concentration in Pastry Arts. Dee’s extremely proud of her time and achievement at the school and often returns there as an adjunct professor, teaching a course on International Baking.
During her first two years out of culinary school, Dee worked as a pastry cook at The Bedford Village Inn in Bedford, NH. In the summer of 2004, she decided to spend a summer on Nantucket where she worked at the renowned Topper’s restaurant at the Wauwinet Inn. She would spend three summers at Topper’s, first as Assistant Pastry Chef and then as the restaurant’s Executive Pasty Chef. During the off-seasons, Dee decided to challenge herself by taking on jobs working for prominent chefs: Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud in Palm Beach, Florida and Barbara Lynch at No. 9 Park in Boston. Her third winter off-island would prove to be a career-changing and full time move for the young pastry chef.
In the fall of 2006, Dee accepted a job from James Beard award-winning chef, owner, and TV personality Ming Tsai to become the Assistant Pastry Chef at his acclaimed Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA. During her 11 years at Blue Ginger, she ultimately became the restaurant’s pastry chef and developed an incredible array of seasonal desserts to compliment Tsai’s dinner menus. It’s here where she met her future husband, Myron, who would later become the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine. Dee participated in Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer each and every year while she was at Blue Ginger.
In 2017, Dee joined chef and restaurateur Tiffani Faison as Pastry Chef of Faison’s award-winning restaurants, Tiger Mama, Sweet Cheeks Q and Fool’s Errand.
At Faison’s adult snack bar, Fool’s Errand, Dee plays on bites of dessert with items like Crackle Bites – a caramelized peanut butter rice krispy covered in caramel ganache and dipped in dark chocolate.
Dee lives in Medway, MA with her husband Myron and their French bulldog Tucket.
Visit Fool’s Errand during Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer and enjoy her delicious dessert that will raise money for breast cancer.


Meet the Chefs… Pino Maffeo, Executive Chef Il Molo

Executive Chef Pino Maffeo

Pino Maffeo is an award-winning chef with an impressive background in culinary training and a unique food philosophy.  Maffeo’s strong Italian roots have kept him drawn to the culinary world since a young age and after attending Newbury Culinary College, the East Boston native took off on a culinary “tour” around the country, working at numerous restaurants within different cities such as San Francisco and New York City, where he learned the art of world cuisine from an impressive roster of European chefs.

In San Francisco, Maffeo opened Molhern & Shackern alongside Laurence Vito, who, at the time, was a spokesperson of Californian cuisine, before taking over as chef de cuisine at San Francisco’s Inn at the Opera where he spent three fruitful and distinguishable years.  Maffeo eventually moved back to Boston and became executive chef of Sage Restaurant, an instant hit located in Boston’s famous North End, an Italian haven where he helped change the entire mentality of how the neighborhood ate and brought a new standard of cooking to the esteemed Boston neighborhood.   

In 1988, Maffeo brought his wealth of talent to Manhattan where he earned rave reviews from Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times for his inventive menus and unique approach.

He returned to Boston and brought Louis Boston’s Restaurant L to fruition, which within a year became noted as one of the most acclaimed new restaurants in the country.

Maffeo garnered several media awards including being named “Top Ten New Restaurants of the Year” by Travel & Leisure, “Best New Restaurants in the World” in Robb Report’s “Best of the Best” issue and one of “Boston’s Best New Faces.” He also was chosen by Food & Wine Magazine as one of the “Best New Chefs” in America.  Maffeo has appeared on NBC’s“Today Show”, CBS’s“The Early Show”, The Food Network“Good Morning America” and PBS’s “Simply Ming” hosted by fellow Boston chef extraordinaire Ming Tsai.Additionally, Maffeo has been featured in Men’s Health, Playboy,  The New Yorker, Food & Wine, Bon Appetite, Where Magazine,  Art Culinaire, Food Arts, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and many more.  Maffeo has been a special guest speaker at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for The Lemelson-MIT Program that is dedicated to honoring the acclaimed and unsung heroes who have helped improve our lives through invention. 

Today, Maffeo is the executive chef at the acclaimed il Molo restaurant in Boston’s historical North End neighborhood which opened along Commercial Street in July of 2016.

We are grateful to have the support of Pino Maffeo in this year’s Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer. Visit Il Molo in The North End and save room for his very special dessert which will raise money for breast cancer research.


Meet the Chefs… Pastry Chef, Shawn Dresser of Rowes Wharf Sea Grille

Pastry Chef Shawn Dresser

Shawn was born and raised in Abington, Massachusetts, Shawn Dresser realized his passion for culinary at the young age of eight. He found a love for cooking shows and admired through his screen the talents of Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. Picking up new skills along the way, Shawn committed to cooking full Sunday dinners for his family, unknowingly beginning his successful career in hospitality.

Despite his young age, Shawn always showed an eagerness to learn and grow as a chef- even asking for a wok on his 10th birthday! This drive and passion to succeed only grew as he attended the French Pastry School in Chicago, Illinois as well as the Notter School in Orlando, Florida and Newbury College in Brookline, MA.

Prior to joining the Boston Harbor Hotel team in 2008, Shawn was a Pastry Chef at the Hotel@MIT and the Seaport Hotel in Boston. 

Formally trained in savory, Shawn Dresser has become the creator behind all of the perfect pastries and decadent baked goods at the Boston Harbor Hotel.  Shawn is passionate about his role as Executive Pastry Chef, and his immense talent and artistry are displayed in his creations that are equally as eye-catching as they are delicious. 

Aside from being in the kitchen, Shawn finds the most joy spending time with his wife, Nicola, and his daughter, Audrina.

We greatly appreciate the support of Shawn and Rowes Wharf Sea Grille in this year’s Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer.  He will have an amazing dessert waiting for you which will help us raise money for breast cancer research. 



Meet the Chefs…Jakob White & Fernanda Tapia of Comedor

Comedor chef-owner duo Fernanda Tapia & Jakob White met while studying culinary arts at Boston University and after years of working in kitchens in and around Boston, they decided to open their dream restaurant. Hailing from their respective backgrounds, upstate New York and Santiago, Chile, they pair their childhood flavors with the technique and skills they accumulated over the years to create the food they serve at Comedor.

Each and every year during the week of Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer,they create a special ice cream flavor.  100% of the sales from their creatively crafted ice cream flavor supports breast cancer. Visit them, save room for dessert.  Indulge, it is after all for a good cause.


Meet the Chefs… Steven Peljovich of Michael’s Deli

Steven Peljovich- Michael’s Deli

Meet Steven Peljovich – owner of Michael’s Deli for the past 7 years.  Michael’s Deli has been around slinging New York deli since 1977.  In fact, all of the meats are imported from the Bronx and then cooked on site.  Born and raised in Miami Beach, but now Bostonian (Needhamite) for the last 20 years. He will be donating 50% of all of our dessert sales during the week, including his special Strawberry Bread Pudding Knish to Boston Bakes! Go visit Steven in Brookline!  After you finish this plater of deli, save room for all of his desserts because they all will support breast cancer research.  If you are too full, take some home to enjoy later! Sweet!


Meet the Chefs… Executive Chef Adrienne Wright of Deuxave and Boston Chops

Chef Adrienne earned her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and culinary nutrition from Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI. Upon graduating, she secured a position working as a line cook at the critically acclaimed Arrows in Ogunquit Maine, then Radius in Boston. Within just one year on the line, she was promoted to Sous Chef where she worked alongside award-winning Chef Michael Schlow. In December of 2011, Chef Owner Chris Coombs recruited Chef Adrienne as Sous Chef for Deuxave. She is now managing the four kitchens of Boston Urban Hospitality as Executive Chef, developing menus and new dishes as well as training and mentoring the next generation of chefs at Deuxave, Boston Chops and dbar. Chef A, as her team calls her, was also finalist on this seasons Top Chef.

Enjoy the desserts Chef Adrienne has created to help raise money for breast cancer research during the week of #BostonBakes! At Deuxave enjoy their Honey Bavarois, Poached Rhubarb, Olive Oil Cake, Poppy Seed Ice Cream.

Then visit both locations of Boston Chops and finish your meal with their Warm Brownie Sundae, Fresh Strawberries, Strawberry Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce & Cultured Chantilly Cream.  It raises money for breast cancer research.


Meet the Chefs… Kerry Levesque of Artisan Bistro

With just over a decade of professional pastry experience, including a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, Kerry Levesque has become one of the youngest talents to helm The Ritz-Carlton, Boston’s hotel pastry program. In her role as Pastry Supervisor at the hotel, she has elevated the pastry program to widespread acclaim. According to the hotel’s Executive Chef Robert Bruce, Kerry’s pastry department touches every area of the hotel, from desserts in Artisan Bistro and Avery Bar, to seasonal ballroom buffets with extravagant party stations, to creating highly personalized and themed guest amenities. She’s also been the creative force behind the hotel’s holiday pastry décor which is seen and enjoyed by thousands of guests passing through the hotel lobby during the festive holiday season.

In her role as pastry supervisor, Levesque also oversees all pastry operations for the hotel’s social events including weddings, large corporate events and non-profit galas and is responsible for the daily a la carte Club Lounge pastry presentations.

Levesque’s zest for her craft keeps her work relevant and creative and she continuously gets recognized by guests and peers for her exceptional work, drive and involvement with community partners like the non-profit, Family Reach, where she’s orchestrated the annual fundraiser’s pastry course with the such notable chefs including Joanne Chang. For guests of Family Reach, Levesque creatively provided a climatic “wow” for the evening with each of her hand-made desserts made to look like late-snacks but were actually pastry burgers, pieces of sushi and fruit caviar in sweet disguise.

Always one to challenge herself and her team, together they have built a14-foot tall lighthouse from gingerbread and macaroons in the hotel lobby, and to celebrate the holiday season and the hotel’s relationship with the Boston Ballet during performances of The Nutcracker, she constructed an actual ballerina made from chocolate. In addition, Levesque has also built a life-size gingerbread “shoppe” which covered the facade of the hotel’s holiday gift shop. The shoppe was 18 feet long by 11 feet high and made with real gingerbread bricks, frosting and treats from the “Land of Sweets.” All of these structures are made and supervised by Kerry, they are larger than life and they are made entirely from sweets and pastries.

Executive Chef Bruce says that Kerry’s contributions to the hotel’s culinary team are “beyond compare. She’s a talent who loves her job, and her passion and enthusiasm clearly show in every pastry and dessert that she presents to our guests. She makes every Ritz-Carlton experience that much more memorable, and sweeter of course!”

Outside of the pastry kitchen, you can often find Levesque, a native of Massachusetts, weekending at Swifts beach with her family. She currently lives in Woburn with her husband and young son, Daniel.

Visit Artisan Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston during the week of Boston Bakes. Save room for their special dessert that will raise money for breast cancer research.


What is Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy has been traditionally used as an “adjuvant” treatment in many patients with cancer—administered after surgery to kill microscopic tumor cells that remain in the body after surgical removal of the tumor. More recently, it has also come to be used in a “neoadjuvant” setting—to shrink tumors before they are surgically removed.

In some cases, neoadjuvant chemotherapy can make for better surgical options for a patient: It can turn an inoperable cancer into a treatable one by decreasing its size. In others, it can allow patients to become eligible for less-extensive forms of surgery than they otherwise might have required.

Oral chemotherapy pills.
Oral chemotherapy pills.

For instance, some women with breast cancer who would have needed a mastectomy to remove a large tumor might be candidates for a less invasive “lumpectomy” if the tumor can be shrunk with chemotherapy. Patients with an advanced form of laryngeal cancer, to take another example, can often preserve their larynx if they’re treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy, and the same may be true for patients with bladder cancer.

Other types of cancer therapy besides chemotherapy can be used in the neoadjuvant setting—that is, prior to the delivery of the main treatment. Hormone-blocking drugs, for instance, are sometimes used to shrink prostate tumors before treatment with radiation therapy. Radiation therapy can itself be a neoadjuvant treatment and is being studied in breast cancer and prostate cancer in clinical trials.

Because both adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy kill cancer cells that have spread from the initial tumor to other parts of the body, they often help patients often live longer than they would have if they had been treated with surgery alone. When patients receive neoadjuvant therapy, they work closely with a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists to make sure all the treatments are coordinated together.


Not all patients are eligible for neoadjuvant treatments. The decision of whether to proceed with a neoadjuvant therapy depends on factors such as tumor size and location, its responsiveness to therapy, the patient’s overall health, and other considerations. Patients should work with their doctor in considering the best option.

Courtesy of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute