For Chef Evan, the path into cooking professionally was a sinuous one, wending its way from Washington, D.C. up the coast to Boston and ultimately the ridiculously quaint seaport village of Portsmouth. Having cooked a little in the late Eighties and early Nineties, and after several stops for college education and stints in advertising and food journalism, Evan ate a meal at Lindbergh’s Crossing in 1998 and–with help from his fiancée Denise–had an epiphany. The restaurant at 29 Ceres Street, already renowned for its twenty-six year run as the legendary Blue Strawbery, would become the epicenter of the Malletts’ world.
Evan and Denise moved to Portsmouth shortly after that, and Evan applied for a job as a prep cook at Lindbergh’s Crossing. The partners at Lindbergh’s opened a short-lived Spanish-themed tapas bar called Ciento, where Evan was named sous chef. In 2001, the Malletts (including newborn Eleanor) moved to Mexico, where Evan cheffed at a Mexican/Cajun restaurant in San Miguel de Allende.
In 2003, Evan was lured back from Mexico by an offer to head up the kitchen of Lindbergh’s Crossing. The great northward migration with Denise and Eleanor (and Cormac, a few months shy of being born into this world) ended with a new home on ten acres of mushroom-rich land in southern Maine, where the Mallett family still resides today.
In March of 2007, Evan and Denise bought the restaurant at 29 Ceres Street, naming it Black Trumpet after a particularly delicious mushroom Evan found while foraging. By purchasing the space, the Malletts essentially vowed to be stewards of an historic restaurant location in an even more historic building. Mallett’s connection to local food sources and his love of Latin and Mediterranean cuisines continues to inspire him as he mans the stove with an aging grace. The legacy lives on at Black Trumpet, evolving with every season and every seasonal menu change.
In 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017 Evan was named as a James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef, Northeast. He is actively involved and sits on the boards of Chefs Collaborative, Slow Food Seacoast, and the Heirloom Harvest Project, an initiative to join farmers, chefs and educators to identify and restore a food system native to the greater NH Seacoast.