Faculty Spotlight: Bo Byrne

Bo Byrne has prepared everything from five-course white-tablecloth cuisine to gourmet hot dogs in his culinary career. As an SMCC instructor, he is now passing his know-how and expertise onto the next generation of Maine chefs.

Bo knew at a young age that he wanted to be a chef — he even took a cooking course at a community college when he was just 13. After high school, he enrolled in SMCC’s Culinary Arts program and graduated in 2004.

Since graduation, he has worked as the executive chef at David’s, Opus 10 and Tiqa in Portland, David’s 388 in South Portland, and the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport. He also had a stint at the Burger Bar in Portland, where he learned the art of cooking burgers in anticipation of opening his own food cart someday.

Bo first taught at SMCC in 2018 as an adjunct instructor teaching a food safety class. He’s now a full-time instructor teaching Introduction to Culinary Skills, Classical French Cuisine, and International Cuisine.

When he’s not teaching, he operates the T.O.P. (The Old Port) Dog food cart, serving gourmet hot dogs and burgers from May to August in the Old Port and on the Eastern Prom in Portland and at Island Dog Brewing in South Portland.

In the classroom, he tries to instill in students that cooking isn’t as hard as they may think, and that they’re closer to being good cooks than they realize.

“The next generation needs to learn the same thing I did when I was young so when I go out to eat, I’m enjoying food at the same level as people before me. I like to eat good food, and I need to teach people how to cook good food so I can enjoy it.”