Hi, my name is Philip Wolfe and my path to Clover’s Development Kitchen has not necessarily been a predictable one.
I grew up surrounded by scientists and amazing food. To my family of cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists my professional interest in food may have come as somewhat of a relief. I was a bad student; we don’t have to get into how bad, but let’s just say I was not going to be taking advantage of the tuition remission programs for which I was, in theory, eligible. When I was about 14 I started to look at college options and the idea of signing up for what looked like 4 more years of high school filled me with dread.
It was around this time that a distant memory began to resurface; half forgotten afternoons in the 90’s spent watching PBS, and a show called Cooking Secrets of The CIA… We did not have cable in my house growing up. I thought everyone came home from school and straight into a lineup of Julia Child, Jaques Pepin, and Jim Lehrer (as a small child I was pretty sure Julia and Jim were married, she cooked and he talked about whatever happened in the world that day; made sense to 5 year-old Phil). Anywho, after some brief googling I learned that The CIA very much still existed and was in-fact a pretty reputable culinary school. After a little more research I was sold, and within a few weeks had started an apprenticeship at a restaurant in Newtonville; skipping class to make creme brûlée and duck confit.
A couple years later, while I was a student at The CIA my dad told me about a food truck that had appeared on MIT’s campus and from there I began following Clover as a business and source of excellent chickpea fritters.
Since graduating from culinary school I’ve worked in a variety of foodservice operations, everything from private chef at a reclusive software developer, to 6 years as a sushi chef specializing in menu development for elaborate omakase tasting menus. When the opportunity to become part of the Clover universe appeared I could not get my application in fast enough. Coming out of the last couple years of pandemic-uncertainty I was ready for a completely new challenge and everything about the position as Clover’s Development Chef sounded amazing. Getting to work on everything from our new seasonal sandwiches to the ever-evolving box program keeps me in a creative space that is incredibly fun and engaging.
In many ways the interdisciplinary nature of Clover feels like home in a way that no other workplace has. Clover Food Lab has always been about research and development, finding new and delicious ways to get local veggies to as many people as possible and I am so excited to have found my way into part of that. And somehow, like so many others in my family, I have ended up running a ‘lab’…