Restaurant Confidential: Tyler Anderson, Carole Peck & Steve Abrams Share Secrets With Frank Rizzo

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October 25, 2018 • 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Ever think of starting a restaurant? Curious about what it’s like to run one? Wonder why your favorite eatery is no longer there?

Freelance writer Frank Rizzo will lead a conversation with three of Connecticut’s leading restaurateurs about the inspirations, challenges, sorrows, and joys of creating — and sustaining — high-profile, fine-dining establishments.

Tyler Anderson is chef and owner of Simsbury’s Millwright and co-owner of West Hartford’s The Cook and the Bear. Earlier this year Anderson opened the Spanish-themed Porrón & Pĩna at the Goodwin Hotel in downtown Hartford.

Anderson has been nominated for four consecutive years as Best Chef Northeast James Beard Award (2014-2017) and in 2014 was named Chef of the Year by the Connecticut Restaurant Association. A California native, Anderson was only 16 when he began to learn about the craft of cooking in restaurant kitchens. Anderson has been mentored by some of the best chefs in the business, including Charlie Trotter, Sarah Stegner, and George Bumbaris. In December  2017 Anderson was featured on Bravo TV’s Top Chef series.

Carole Peck is owner and chef of Woodbury’s Good News Cafe, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. In the 1970s Peck was one of the first women to study at the Culinary Institute of America. At age 24 she became one of a handful of executive chefs in the country at Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head in South Carolina. She has overseen kitchens on Cape Cod, the Berkshires, Key West, and at Miami’s Fisher Island. In Austin, Texas, she and husband, Bernard Jarrier-Cabernet, opened their own celebrated restaurant, La Provence. From Texas she went to La Greco in Manhattan, where her work earned two stars from The New York Times. In the late 1980s, Peck and Jarrier-Cabernet opened a restaurant in New Milford in a 100-year-old farmhouse owned by Skitch and Ruth Henderson, who had launched The Silo cooking school in town.

Steven Abrams is a partner in the Max Restaurant Group, which includes Hartford’s Max Downtown, West Hartford’s Max Burger, and Avon’s Max a Mia. Born in Providence, Abrams grew up in his family’s retail business but eventually left it for the restaurant industry. After a two-year stint with Tatou Restaurants, first in Manhattan and then in Aspen, he teamed up with his college roommate, Richard Rosenthal, joining the Max Group as an assistant manager at Max on Main. In 1996 he became a partner and opened Max Downtown in Hartford. Abrams is also a partner in Max’s Oyster Bar and Trumbull Kitchen.

Anderson is also the chef for The Mark Twain House & Museum’s annual fundraising gala — “Twain’s Feast” — on Saturday, November 3, at the Goodwin Hotel in downtown Hartford. Special guest at the event will be author Andrew Beahrs, whose book of the same name has been made into a series of eight celebrity podcasts, which will be available later this year by Audible and will be previewed at the gala.

Tickets are $30.  Get Tickets Here.