At 31, Boston chef Chris Coombs is officially over the hill, at least when it comes to Forbes Media’s annual “30 Under 30 list.” But that doesn’t mean he’s too old to help organize the October summit that will be held for the first time in Boston to honor the 600 young academics, entrepreneurs, artists, and others who made this year’s list — 30 people each in 20 sectors, including 27 winners in the Boston area.
Coombs, who co-owns Deuxave, dbar, and Boston Chops, made the list in 2012. Now he has been tapped to coordinate the food portion of this year’s four-day event, which will take place in different locations around the city. With help from New York restaurateur Danny Meyer of Gramercy Tavern and Shake Shack fame, Coombs is organizing a chef competition, putting together a pub crawl, and pairing some of the culinary winners with local restaurateurs for guest chef dinners.
Coombs is one of about a dozen local “Under 30” honorees from the past few years who will be involved in planning the October events, including technology investor Peter Boyce; Daniel Koh, Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s chief of staff; and Cigall Kadoch, a pediatric oncology professor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.
Coombs, who got his start in the restaurant business as an 11-year-old dishwasher in Peabody, is not worried about being part of the “over 30” crowd. His three restaurants employ 125 people and bring in more than $10 million in annual sales, and he has plans to open two or three more.
“I don’t feel any different,” he said. “I’m excited about what comes next.”