An action hero in a black chef’s coat, Todd English roars up to Olive’s front door on a shiny black Vespa. With the film crew from his PBS series trailing him, he’s picking up in Charlestown where he left off in Tuscany, where he roared out of the frame and into the sunset on a sister bike. (Continuity, the producer says.) You can call him a sell-out and even hate him if you like, but facts are facts: Todd English is Boston’s only chef with a worldwide brand.
I was present at the birth of the first Olive’s in 1989, when it was a low-budget 50-seat restaurant in a neighborhood best
known as “home to all the bank robbers.” (Literally.) In the space of a weekend, Boston fell in love with Olive’s, which took no reservations and was still the top want-to-getin spot in town. Facts are facts: English put