Worldly Inspiration from COJE Group’s Chef Tom Berry

Evan Ross Invests in The Hideaway and Leona’s Sushi House


Chef Tom Berry, Chief Culinary Officer for Boston’s COJE Management Group, has always drawn cooking inspiration from his worldly travels and remains passionate about educating others around global cuisine and cultures.

Overseeing culinary operations for Boston hotspots including supper club Yvonne’s, Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, a Mexican-inspired tequila bar; RUKA, a Nikkei restaurant; Cuban-inspired concept, Mariel; and coastal French & Basque-inspired Coquette, along with sister bakery/wine bar concept Cocorico, Berry has been able to able to put his mark on the Boston restaurant scene in a way that few had done before. It is his globally-inspired, social style of dining that has gained each COJE restaurant distinct recognitions year-after-year, making the group’s portfolio one of the most sought after in Boston.

In his work, Berry combines his signature flare with the traditional cuisines from South America, Cuba, France, Japan and Southeast Asia to design menus that offer guests an escape from reality and a taste of other cultures. He travels to each country from which he is pulling inspiration, spends time learning their culinary traditions and identifying the essence of what makes each special.

During a research trip for Mariel, COJE’s Cuban-inspired concept, Berry spent time in Miami and Havana to learn more about Cuban food and culture. Inspired by the famous “Peso Pizzas” of Havana, Berry worked with the group’s pastry chef to develop a completely proprietary recipe for Cuban Street Pizza, a tradition in Cuba that’s rarely featured in the states.

The pizza consists of a slightly sweeter, thicker dough with a very thin, sweet tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella and gouda, cooked in pie tins. The dough slowly ferments for 3 days, leading to a crispy, chewy crust. Chef Berry then uses a blend of mozzarella and gouda and a “tomate fino” sauce that starts with a sofrito base to create the unique-tasting dish.  In addition, he also created his own fufu dough for the restaurant’s signature fufu gnocchi, and sourced hard-to-find ingredients like the lulo fruit and bijol seasoning to pay homage to Cuban cuisine and flavors.

Berry’s passion for global cuisine and his commitment to education around authentic, regional foods, extends even beyond the kitchens of his restaurants. In June 2023, Berry will embark on a culinary trip to Costa Rica with Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition organization inspiring people to embrace the healthy, sustainable joys of the old ways of eating. He will join Walter C. Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, to give demonstrations and teach participants about the culture and cuisine of the country.

From educating participants about the fruit and produce native to the region, he will also be demonstrating how to use local fare to create healthful and delicious dishes, further helping mark Costa Rica on the map as an exemplary culinary destination. More information on the trip can be found at

Read Also: Evan Ross: The Hideaway and Leona’s Sushi House – F & B

Chef Berry continues to put himself out there to educate, motivate and push boundaries, while serving world-class cuisine in interesting, exciting ways that further elevate the social dining scene in Boston and beyond. Find more on Chef Tom Berry and COJE management group at