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March 21, 2016

James Beard Nominee Spotlight: Tyler Anderson

Chef_tylerHaving cut his teeth in Chicago, learning his craft from the likes of the late Charlie Trotter and two-time James Beard Award winner, Sarah Stegner, people expected a lot from Tyler Anderson. And the Best Chef, North East Division, semifinalist for the 2016 James Beard has lived up to those expectations.

Striking out on his own in 2012, Chef Tyler opened up Millwright’s in Simsbury, CT, and set to work celebrating New England cuisine. Inside this 17th century sawmill, he focuses on reviving regionally traditional techniques and ingredients to create dishes that are both nostalgic and fresh. - PEJ

Take salt packing—a colonial tradition where food is packed in a salt dome and roasted at high temperatures—it does not overly season food, but instead locks in moisture and allows even cooking throughout.

Utilizing this technique for his featured dish on the James Beard site—salt roasted celery root served sliced and topped with horseradish cheese curds and a refreshing Meyer lemon vinaigrette—Chef Tyler manages to showcase local methods and ingredients to make an old technique seem new.

Even clam chowder is placed into a fresh, new spotlight. Made with tapioca pearls similar to what you’d find in bubble tea, this chowder appears more like a firm custard than a soup but, as the pearls explode in your mouth, the thick texture thins out spreading the flavor across your taste buds.

“Embrace the ingredient,” says Chef Tyler. And that’s exactly what he does, sourcing ingredients and inspiration from New England while adding his own special twist.

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