Chef Michael Scelfo has been drawn to the kitchen for as long as he can remember. With a storied lineage of cooks who came before him, namely his mom who cooked professionally for years, the bug bit him hard at a young age. As a child, when he preferred being in the kitchen with his grandmothers & aunts, watching cooking shows and leafing through his mother’ cookbooks, his family knew he was serious.
As a graduate of Western Culinary Institute, he spent a few dedicated years as a wide-eyed young cook in the James Beard Award-winning Wildwood Kitchen in Portland, Oregon. Traveling and touring along the west coast, his love for creating vibrant, ingredient-forward dishes was nurtured.
At his first restaurant Alden & Harlow, Chef Michael Scelfo extended the concept of the domestic kitchen table into his first owned and operated restaurant. Chef Scelfo’s second restaurant, Waypoint, reflects his forward-thinking approach to coastally inspired fare – marrying his time spent along the Atlantic and Pacific shores. His most recent venture was opening The Longfellow Bar at Alden & Harlow, a neighborhood bar and restaurant, above his flagship Alden & Harlow. The two-story space is named after famed architect Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow while the updated design reflects Chef Scelfo’s vision of creating a space where guests can have fun, sip on a cocktail, listen to records and simply hang out.
The success of his formula is proven in the attention the restaurants have received. In 2015, Alden & Harlow was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards in the Best New Restaurant category and Chef Michael Scelfo was a semifinalist in the category of Best Chef Northeast in 2016. That same year Conde Nast Traveler named Alden & Harlow one of the “Best Restaurants in the World” and in 2021 the publication deemed both Alden & Harlow and Waypoint as “world-class restaurants” in a roundup of the 12 Best Things to Do in Boston. In 2017, Food & Wine magazine named Waypoint one of their “Best New Restaurants.” Alden & Harlow has been featured in Bon Appetit magazine as one of 50 nominees for “America’s Best New Restaurants” and was highlighted as one of the Best Restaurants in the Northeast by Arrive magazine.
When not in one of his internationally-acclaimed restaurants, Chef Scelfo can be found surrounded by his wife, three children and pup at home in Arlington, Massachusetts or working on- and riding his vintage Triumph, a green and gold café racer, a style named for early 1960’s British riders who used them to speed between cafes. For the record, it’s not a Harley, it’s very much that classic ‘60’s Steve McQueen and he did receive approval from his wife, Ellen prior to purchasing.