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Meet Harvard and Calvrett Aninye of m.A.d. city in Cambridge and Central Square

Today we’d like to introduce you to Harvard and Calvrett Aninye.

Harvard and Calvrett, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My brother and I have been cooking together since childhood. It started back when our mother would give us one day a week when we had to make dinner. We started out making things like boxed hamburger helper and spaghetti (we still make a mean spaghetti) that evolved into more and more complex dishes over time.

Beyond that, we helped her with her catering business and there honed much of our attention to detail and ideas of what service should include. Then Harvard went to the C.I.A. (Culinary Institute of America) and learned just how good at cooking he actually was. He was building a name for himself there until somehow I landed a job with Ken Oringer’s restaurant, “Clio” and let Harvard know. (I didn’t even know who Ken Oringer was at the time, but Harvard was immediately interested). He got a job with Clio and has been in the Cambridge area ever since.

In Cambridge, we have developed, through a long list of relationships and jobs, a wonderful community of creative weirdos. We consider m.A.d. city a place where these people can feel confident to be themselves.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We still haven’t made it and are going through the growing pains of starting something new. It is a daily struggle of trying to stay afloat while finding time to foster the creative outlets that allow us to express the m.A.d. city aesthetic.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the m.A.d. city story. Tell us more about the business.
At m.A.d. city art, music, food, fashion, and fun are not mutually exclusive. We consider all aspects of our restaurant with every decision we make. Harvard’s dishes are as playfully executed as the accompanying puns on the menu. There’s this dish we call popcorn chicken that consists of popcorn puree, butter powder, and butter roasted chicken (get it).

We love to throw events around a theme. For our relaunch party, we themed it after the Derelicte Fashion line in Zoolander. People made clothing out of whatever trash they could find: traffic cones, laser-cut cardboard, lamp shades (we have some pretty awesome pictures up on goodfoodmAdcity.com/fashion). We took food that would normally have been thrown away (in keeping with the derelicte trash fashion theme) like coffee grains and orange rinds to make things like ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCCINOS (also from the movie). Everyone got really into it and we’ve carried that momentum into the rest of our events.

Another one I like was our Ken and Barbie-Que. I’ll just let that pun sink in on its own.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
We are a collection of the people we meet and the things we see. We are blessed to have so many wonderful people around us that add to the unique scene that one finds themselves in at m.A.d. city. It would be nothing without randomly running into the right people at the right times.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Matt Em Weston
Perry Hung

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