JK Food Group chef-partner Jamie Bissonnette.
Photo of Jamie Bissonnette by Gina Manning, photos of Faccia and Faccia by Elizabeth Cecil and by World Design Interiors

Resy QuestionnaireBoston

20 Questions with Jamie Bissonnette of Toro, Faccia a Faccia, and More


In the Resy Questionnaire, we play a game of 20 questions with the industry folks behind some of our favorite restaurants. What’s your most memorable restaurant experience? Your favorite food movie? What restaurant would you want to time-travel for?

In Boston’s very first edition, we talk to Jamie Bissonnette, the restaurateur and executive chef behind JK Food Group, which has brought to life some of the city’s most fun dining spaces, from the 18-year-old Barcelona-inspired tapas bar Toro to the months-old Italian darling Faccia a Faccia, with Coppa and Little Donkey in between.

The Resy Questionnaire

1. Favorite thing you’ve ever cooked?

The first time I learned to cook tripe in a way that I enjoyed it, I was blown away. Now, every time I make tripe, I get wicked excited and proud. Oh, and the nachos I made for Song [Bissonnette, his wife] the other day. They were great.

The dining room at Faccia a Faccia in Boston.
The dining room at Faccia a Faccia. Photo by Elizabeth Cecil, courtesy of Faccia a Faccia
The dining room at Faccia a Faccia in Boston.
The dining room at Faccia a Faccia. Photo by Elizabeth Cecil, courtesy of Faccia a Faccia

2. Kitchen tool or equipment you couldn’t live without?

At home, a nonstick pan. I use it for a lot — great to stir-fry, dry-fry, and obviously, for eggs. At work, having a mortar and pestle to smash things into delicious submission is key.

3. What pantry items would you bring on a desert island?

I think about this a lot, don’t ask me why. I would need to have salt, soy sauce for sure, vinegar — need some acid to make some sort of cured fish — chile to add some spice (and help make me feel full with less abundance), and butter. If I can’t find food, I’ll just eat the butter.

4. What’s your favorite place to get a lobster roll in Boston?

James Hook & Co. is my favorite and has been for 20-plus years. Great family and amazing lobo rolls.

5. Favorite cookbook?

La Technique, by Jacques Pépin. I flip through it a lot.

6. Your drink of choice?

Ice-cold water. The colder, the better.

7. Favorite food movie?

The Hundred-Foot Journey.

8. Your ideal dinner party guests, dead or alive? 

I would want them all to be living: Jodie [Battles], Katy [Chirichiello], KO [Ken Oringer — all three are Bissonnette’s partners at JK Food Group], their partners, and pets. Sorry, kids stay home.

9. What restaurant industry person do you admire the most?

I have much admiration for Tom Colicchio. He is a badass cook, chef, mentor, and leader, and remains cool as heck.

10. The greatest restaurant experience of your life so far?

Quintonil in Mexico City. The food was mind-blowingly delicious and used unique ingredients — some bugs, some rare (to me) herbs and lettuces. The entire meal left me with my jaw agape.

11. Your greatest professional achievement?

That during the pandemic, we were able to keep purpose for our teams and support the ones that needed it the most.

12. What single dish best describes your personality?

Scrambled eggs: simple, complex, gooey, and messy.

13. If you could go back in time, which restaurant would you dine at?

Being able to eat at Harveys circa 1987-88 when Marco Pierre White was at his most chaotic and creative would be wild. I looked up to him so much as a young cook, and never had the opportunity to eat there.

Pasta at Faccia a Faccia in Boston.
Photos by Elizabeth Cecil, courtesy of Faccia a Faccia
Crudo at Faccia a Faccia in Boston.

14. Your favorite meal from childhood?

We didn’t eat a lot of food that was memorable because it was good, but I think about meatloaf a lot.

15. Your wish for the restaurant industry?

More people wanting to eat out earlier and later, and less demand for the 7-to-8:30 p.m. slots.

16. What do you wish you did better? What do you do well?

I wish I was better at seeing the big picture when I get charged up. I am pretty good at working the egg station.

17. If you could eat through a city for a day, where would you go?

Osaka in Japan or San Sebastián in the Basque Country.

18. The one thing you can’t resist splurging on when you go out?

Raw fish, interesting wines, and a cab ride home.

19. What do you value most in restaurants?

I like it when one can connect with the teams serving and cooking.

20. It’s your last meal on earth, what are you eating?

Hokkaido uni, pizza, a side of scrambled eggs, and caviar with potato chips.