MICHAEL SCELFO used to be the ultimate man’s cook. At the Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square, the 290-pound chef turned out all manner of charcuterie and innards, and enormous portions of everything else.
Before he opened his new restaurant, Alden & Harlow, also in Cambridge, Mass., in January, Mr. Scelfo put himself on a diet.
He cut carbs and dairy, started eating a lot more vegetables and lost 95 pounds in a year.
“It dramatically affected the way I cook,” he said. His menu still features a burger and a steak.
But most of Mr. Scelfo’s dishes use meat as an accent, if at all.
Among Alden & Harlow’s current offerings are smoked burrata crostini with fried kale, burnt honey and a thin slice of cured pork loin; crispy baby bok choy topped with a slow-cooked egg; and charred broccoli with squash hummus.
“At the beginning, I’d have to send the broccoli out to people,” he said—free of charge.
And they loved it. “When I see that feedback, my next question is: How do I up the ante?”