And that amount is impressive. Miller takes her work home with her (literally: she's even raising an edible army of crickets — 2000 to date — atop her fridge for culinary experiments), and she's quick to assure that she doesn't get out much. "I don't drink, or party, or have friends really," she says a bit sheepishly, crediting Bondir as the one and only reason she has made her temporary home here. She describes herself as a country girl who finds big cities jarring and farm life ideal. She sees the fact that she homed in on Bondir, a little rural corner in a major hub, nothing if not serendipitous.
"My favorite thing is getting to cook with Jason Bond every night, honestly," she tells me in her steady alto. "Nothing about it is easy. He's definitely intimidating and very focused, and you don't want to piss him off." She laughs, adding, "Luckily, I don't, I guess. I've known him for so long, he's not just my boss; he's a big part of my life. I lucked out."
Watching the two of them work seamlessly at the rough wooden prep table, chopping and peeling like one person with four arms, all while giggling at Miller's tipsy decision to "pasture" her crickets like cattle, singing the praises of Pete and Jen's Backyard Birds (where Miller slaughtered a 65-pound turkey the week before), and brainstorming weird things in the kitchen to vacuum-pack and hang in the window, it's evident where Bondir's plates glean their harmony. She is a perfect fit for his vision, and her quiet influence makes its way onto the plates every night.
"Three years ago, I would've said that where I'm at now would be it for me. But now that I've grown up a little more, I'd say it's the beginning," she says. "I've had tons of cooking jobs before, but they've all been, you know, make a burger, make lasagna. [Bond] has helped me train my mind in a way that's more creative and good for people, rather than good for numbers. The clientele that we get comes for an experience and to try something they haven't had before, and that's the best thing about it."
BONDIR 279A BROADWAY, CAMBRIDGE :: 617.661.0009 OR BONDIRCAMBRIDGE.COM
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: Food Features
, Cambridge, Central Square, Rachel Miller, More