Oak + Rowan Announces Executive Pastry Chef Brian Mercury

Caswell Restaurant Group Proprietor Nancy Batista-Caswell announced Brian Mercury as executive pastry chef at her third restaurant, Oak + Rowan. Since arriving on the Boston dining scene in 2004, Mercury has garnered such coveted titles as “People's Pastry Chef of 2013” in the east region by Food & Wine, as well as Boston Magazine’s “2014 Best Pastry Chef.”

Batista-Caswell says, “It's with great pleasure that I share the news of Brian joining our team. Through the years I have grown to respect Brian's talent and his philosophies on the final course of one’s meal. Not only is he an incredibly talented chef and respected leader who is passionate and driven, he's also an amazing, down to earth human being. I look forward to opening Oak + Rowan and having him by Chef Shoults’ and my side.”

The award-winning chef comes to Oak + Rowan following a successful tenure at Cambridge favorite Harvest, owned by restaurateur Chris Himmel of Himmel Hospitality. Regarding the transition, Himmel adds, “While I am certainly disappointed to be losing such an integral member of our team, at the end of the day I just want what is best for Brian. He has chosen to join a restaurant that shares the same values and principles that we believe in as an organization.”

Preliminary offerings at Oak + Rowan will include an assortment of familiar and classic desserts with a twist, such as:

  • Carrot Tiramisu—carrot ice cream, house yogurt, chicory
  • Peach Rosemary Kouign-Amann—brown butter, bourbon, vanilla
  • Bittersweet Chocolate Crème—plum, buttermilk, hazelnut

Mercury also plans to serve a selection of house made ice creams and sorbets in unconventional flavors, such as peach caramel swirl, passion fruit kombucha, and pistachio saffron, as well as launch an in-house bread and butter program.

“I'm extremely excited to be joining the team at Oak & Rowan,” says Mercury. “Nancy is an amazing restaurateur, and I look forward to creating something special with her and Chef Shoults. I’ll continue to play with flavor combinations and plating style, as well as focus on breads for the table and accompaniments for Oak + Rowan’s caviar. I want that modern New England feel on the menu, taking inspiration from the diverse cultures in Boston. While departing Harvest is bittersweet, I owe so much to the Himmel family and everyone I worked with during my time there, and hope to make them proud with our achievements at Oak + Rowan.”

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