Northshore Magazine

Northshore March 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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NORTHSHOREMAG.COM 30 MARCH 2019 me, eating clean is staying away from anything preprocessed from a box," the chef says. "Stick- ing to whole foods that are as close to their natural state as possible." But that doesn't mean it has to be bor- ing. BestLife's grilled salmon, served with roasted cauliflower, golden raisins, pine nuts, and capers over baby spinach, was a favorite at Restaurant 62, and the chef also offers everything from meatballs to a ai basil beef bowl. "When you talk about clean and healthy, people think it just has to be plain chicken and salad," Bettencourt says. But by mix- ing chef-driven techniques with organic and fresh foods, he creates something that is both healthy and tasty. And it's catching on. After starting up last June, he's now putting out as many as 180 meals a week, with a wide variety of different people turning to him, from high-powered singles who order a whole slate of three meals CONTACT a day for a week to people trying out one or two meals a week. "e cool thing about social media is you can start a business with zero capital," the chef says. e speed with which the new busi- ness has taken off has been a surprise even to him—and certainly to his wife, Valerie, who went to bed one Sunday night and woke up Monday morning to find her husband had built a Facebook page and was starting to take orders for a new prepared meal delivery service. "Even that first week, I had orders," Bettencourt recalls. "It's amazing that people trust me that way." Since then, Valerie has been pitching in behind the scenes, tracking orders and mak- ing sure everyone gets the right food; she also manages pickups, while her husband handles delivery. Even their 10-year-old daughter, Ser- ena, pitches in with labeling. No subscription is required. Orders must be placed by 5 p.m. each Friday evening, and then Bettencourt spends Friday night, all day Satur- day, and Sunday morning shopping, prepping, and packaging. Customers can either pick up the meals at the kitchen space in Danvers or request delivery within and around Danvers. And it turns out that delivering the meals is one of Bettencourt's favorite parts. After a whole career—more than 17 years—tucked away behind a stove, he is used to working behind the scenes and leaving the chitchat to someone else. "I never went into the dining room [as a chef ] because I always felt awk- ward," he says. "I found it difficult to make small talk." But now he values the interaction with customers, from receiving feedback to taking requests for future offerings. "I'm really enjoying how stripped-down this is," Bettencourt says. "I didn't have to worry about restaurant build-out or servers. It's just me and the traffic." BestLife's Paleo chicken; Left, Chef Tony Bettencourt. E AT + D R I N K

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