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Cover Story

Best Chefs

Tyler Anderson

Millwright’s in Simsbury

Nobody who has followed talented toque Tyler Anderson in recent years would be surprised at any honor that might eventually accrue to him. James Beard Chef Northeast? Why not? Esquire Chef of the Year (last Connecticut win by Luis Bollo of Ibiza in 2003)? Although lightning will probably never strike twice here, not preposterous.

Humorous and even-keeled, Anderson draws inspiration from locally grown ingredients and artisan-produced foods. Anderson was doing big things before he ever came to Connecticut — in Chicago (with Charlie Trotter, Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris), in Manchester, Vt., and in Vail, Colo. Serious foodies might know Anderson from his five appearances at the James Beard House in Manhattan or from his 2009 win on the Food Network’s “Chopped.” But most Nutmeggers know the California native from his exemplary work at the Copper Beech Inn in Ivoryton or from his recent, shatteringly creative work at Millwright’s in Simsbury, where he is finally chef-owner of his own restaurant and has no one but himself to answer to.

Q&A with Tyler Anderson

Guilty pleasure?
Crunch & Munch and Cheetos, so good & so bad

Most overrated ingredient?
Lobster - it’s not that I dislike it, I just don’t love it.

Welcome or discourage customer requests to change their dishes?
We spend a lot of time and effort on composing our dishes, and all the ingredients are built to hopefully taste great together. At the end of the day, though, our guests pay the bills, and we live to make them happy.

Favorite restaurant outside Connecticut?
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York

What living celebrity you would most like to cook for?
Celebrities, plural, and I would give the choice to my daughter: “One Direction.” I’d be a hero!

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