Meet the chef: Linh Aven/executive chef of B.Good – Worcester Telegram

Restaurant News

Linh Aven is executive chef of B.Good, a 78-unit farm-to-table, fast casual restaurant chain.

As executive chef, Aven helps drive new product development and determine the menu that’s rolled out system-wide, including local store locations in Shrewsbury and Millbury.

Aven was pastry chef and director of operations at Café Madeleine, an artisanal French bakery in Boston, before joining B.Good in 2018. She has worked in the kitchens of Deuxave and Oak & Rowan, both in Boston.

Originally from Southern California, Aven received her B.S. in biology at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, and her Ph.D in cell and molecular biology at Boston University School of Medicine.

About B.Good: Cooks on the kitchen lines at franchised B.Good stores prepare seasonally inspired dishes using ingredients from New England and New York farms, creameries, etc. Sources are listed on B.Good store websites.

Menus rotate and include everything from kale & grain bowls and seasonal salads to burgers, Chicken & Flexitarian and sides. At B.Good, Spaghetti & Meatballs translates to zucchini noodles, eggplant meatballs, kale, Parmesan, tomato marinara; Sweet Heat (Chicken & Flexitarian), a beet pineapple burger, caramelized onions, kale, spicy slaw, beat hummus.

Beef burgers include The Classic, Mushroom & Swiss, Guacamole and Power Play.

Guests definitely have flexibility and healthy options for dining or take-out. Visit for menu information and delivery. The company in the spring launched a loyalty rewards program. Download the mobile B.Good app for a promotion offer.

B.Good in Shrewsbury is located at 120 Boston Turnpike; telephone (508) 752-1289. There’s also on at the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley; telephone (509) 917-5021.

1. What’s your favorite cheap eat?

I love carnitas tacos. Crispy pulled pork shoulder on a soft tortilla topped with raw diced onions, cilantro, salsa and a squeeze of lime – they are cheap and undeniably delicious. I grew up in Southern California where there’s so much good Mexican food. In Massachusetts, Taqueria El Amigo in Waltham is my favorite.

2. Who were your biggest influences?

My mom is a great cook. She grew up in Vietnam, so her style incorporates a lot of fresh flavors like garlic, lemongrass, ginger, lime and handfuls of fresh herbs, which has greatly influenced my palate and my cooking. Before I moved to Boston, I spent a summer cooking at a camp in the Wenatchee forest in Washington state with Chef Victoria Fritz. But this was not your typical camp food. She was creating nourishing meals from a CSA, along with freshly baked bread. I learned menu planning to reduce food waste, how to cook for 100 people and to be creative with whatever is in your CSA share. Food is best when we let the seasons dictate the menu, and that’s a philosophy that I likewise get to put into practice at B.Good.

3. What’s your all-time most memorable meal?

I had the wonderful opportunity to eat lunch upstairs at Alice Water’s Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. It was thoughtful and cozy, yet affordable. The freshness of each ingredient was so prominent. Even a simple salad of lettuce greens was memorable just because it was so fresh and flavorful. For dessert, we were served a simple but elegant fruit bowl with a whole persimmon, pomegranate wedges and these soft and creamy barhi dates that tasted like candy. Sometimes, when ingredients are in their prime, you don’t need to add a single thing to them.

4. What ingredient are you obsessed with?

I recently discovered dried mushroom powder. It’s such a flavor-powerhouse. I just blend up dried mushrooms into a powder and then use it to season soups, stocks, sauces and even burger patties. As an added bonus, I find that I don’t have to add as much salt to flavor food when using mushroom powder, since it packs such a hefty umami punch.

5. What’s your guilty food pleasure?

It’s so hard for me to say no to cheese dust and crunchy things, specifically Cheetos Crunchy and Doritos Nacho Cheese.

6. What’s the kitchen tool you can’t do without?

Chopsticks — they are so versatile. I use them to whisk, stir, flip, poke and pick up things.

7. What food trend has outlived its welcome, and any idea of what’s the next trend in the food world?

I can’t wait for over-the-top indulgent foods made just for Instagram to die off, like donut burgers, giant milkshakes and rainbow-colored beverages. Keep the glitter and food dye away from my foods, please! On the opposite side of the spectrum, it’s exciting to see new varieties of fruits and vegetables coming to market as a result of natural selection. Most of us have tasted the deliciousness of a honeycrisp apple. Row7 Seeds in partnership with Chef Dan Barber introduced the koginut squash, and Driscolls released a rosé strawberry, which I’m particularly intrigued by.

8. What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?

I took a long and winding road here from science to biotech to baking, so nothing is going to keep me out of the kitchen now!

9. What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

I love a good clean-out-the-fridge meal. This usually takes the form of a grain bowl that I top with whatever I’ve got in there — greens, cheese, chicken, pesto, chopped veggies, herbs. It’s quick, tastes great and there’s no food waste.

10. What’s the strangest thing in your fridge at home?

I have a gallon of homemade pickled carrots left over from an event a few months ago. Now that you mention it, it’s taking up a lot of room, I should do something with those!

Source: Thanks