Gordon Hamersley began cooking while in college at Boston University in the early 1970s where he was trained at various French restaurants in the Boston area. In 1979, he moved to Los Angeles to begin cooking at the famed Ma Maison where Wolfgang Puck was the chef. It was there that he discovered the potential of food and began to hone his skills as a chef. In 1982, he and his wife Fin moved to France and lived in Nice where they shopped and cooked by day and ate in restaurants by night. In 1983 they moved back to Boston where Gordon worked as sous chef to Lydia Shire (BIBA, PIGNOLI) at the Boston Hotel.
In 1987, he and Fiona opened Hamersley's Bistro in a tiny storefront on Tremont Street in the South End serving French inspired bistro food.