There is an air of mystery surrounding Dick Mieli, which is not in the least surprising. His favorite past time when he is not leading groups on Market Tours in the North End, is reading mystery novels. Being an admirer of all things Italian, he feels a particular connection to those that are set in Venice or Sicily. It is the Val D’Aosta, however, that he reserves his fondest feelings for. Perhaps it has to do with the towering peaks that separate Italy from France, or the lush Alpine valleys and crystal clear rivers, but, more likely it is the pheasant pate and chamois stew served over polenta, still ingrained in his memory, that cause his emotions to run so deep.
Dick began his culinary career here in Cambridge, at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts where he completed the Professional Chefs’ Training Program in 1984. He continued his culinary education in New Orleans, but returned to Boston in 1987 where he taught cooking classes for the Cambridge Center for Adult Education until 1994.
In the early 90’s, Dick co-founded the Boston Athenaeum Culinary Discussion Group, which continues to meet every year from October to May.
The truth is, that it is hard to keep Dick Mieli in one place. Overcome by wanderlust, Dick has become a frequent traveler to far-away places, the more exotic, the better. Some highlights of his frequent travels include a safari in Zimbabwe, an excursion to Cambodia to see the Angkor Wat, and a visit to Machu Picchu in Peru. In fact, Dick has been known to take off on a moment’s notice. But as soon as the snows of winter have passed, and the forsythia begins to bloom, just like clockwork, you’ll find Dick back in the North End, passionately introducing people to his favorite local haunts.