Downtown spotlight: Chef Jeff DiAntonio

‘A deep and lifelong passion’

Jeff DiAntonio shares his love of food at The Peddler’s Daughter

For 25 years, Jeff DiAntonio has been a straight-ahead, no-frills chef, who embodies what’s truly important in the restaurant industry: Hard work pays off, crew camaraderie is key, and great, down-to-earth dishes done well are always winners.

DiAntonio’s first restaurant job was with a Nashua landmark: Chicken N Chips. It was there, as a 15-year-old fry cook, that he learned habits that would serve him well in his future career. “My first boss, Jim Sherburne, instilled in me the satisfaction of a hard day’s work,” he says. He also credits “watching my father, Andrew, cook for family and friends when I was a child, and seeing the joy he brought to them” as an important influence on his decision to pursue a food industry career.

Now with another city favorite, The Peddler’s Daughter, for six years, he’s currently the Executive Chef. When pressed to suggest the restaurant’s signature items, DiAntonio points to the Irish staple cottage pie, or “of course” Peddler’s well-known classic, fish and chips (served traditionally wrapped in a newspaper).

Jeff DiAntonio, Executive Chef, 
The Peddler’s Daughter.

48 Main Street
Downtown Nashua
AT LEFT: Beer battered fish and chips at Peddler’s Daughter: Fresh haddock, handcut fries, housemate ketchup and lemon tartar sauce, with malt vinegar (photo credit: Paul Shea).

Creativity and camaraderie are two hallmarks of what’s great about his job, DiAntonio notes. “I love the camaraderie of working with the kitchen to accomplish a task,” he says, “and also being able to show my creative side through my food. I love creating new takes on classic sandwiches.”

Supporting local purveyors and keeping things fresh to the current season are strong considerations when planning the restaurant’s offerings, he says. “Local and seasonal ingredients are very important to me, especially working in a gastro pub. In the summer, people are looking for fresh and light ingredients, such as different takes on salads and sides. And in the fall, ingredients like local pork belly and root vegetables for hearty cold weather dishes that people seek at our establishment,” DiAntonio explains.

For Dinner on Main Street: A Harvest Celebration, the chef states “I think it is important to showcase the ingredients that local farmers and purveyors work so hard for, and turn them into a delightful dish.” Peddler’s Daughter will present a beet carpaccio over arugula dressed with mint vinaigrette, with honey-whipped goat cheese, topped with toasted almonds.

Simply put, DiAntonio mixes hard work with his love of creating great dishes. “I have a deep and lifelong passion for food, creating dishes that bring joy to people and keeps them coming back.”

Jeff DiAntonio is a lifelong resident of Hudson, where he lives with his family.

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