Two Simsbury chefs, Tyler Anderson of Millwrights and Jeffrey Lizotte of Present Company are both semifinalists for Best Chef Northeast in the annual James Beard Foundation Awards. Selected from a pool of over 24,000 online applicants, the semifinalists cover 21 categories ranging from exceptional chefs and dining destinations to the nation's best new restaurants.
Anderson is the chef/owner of Millwrights, known for its sustainable New England cuisine hosted in a historic mill. He has previously been a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He said of the nomination, "[Winning a James Beard Award] has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Being nominated four years in a row is a great honor and it's awesome to have two of us [nominated] in Simsbury." Before opening Millwrights, Anderson was the Executive Chef at the Copper Beach Inn in Ivorytown and spent time at The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton Chicago, Equinox in Manchester, Vermont and Arrabelle in Vail Colorado. He is currently in the process of opening The Cook and The Bear in West Hartford with Bear's Smokehouse owner, Jamie McDonald.
Lizotte just recently opened Present Company last fall in the former Mill at 2T space in Tariffville. Present Company serves seasonal American fare with a French influence and has quickly made a mark in the state. Prior to Present Company, Lizotte was the Executive Chef at ON20 for four years and served as the sous chef previous to that. Before his stint in Hartford, Lizotte spent time at David Bouley's Danube, the three Michelin starred Le Bernardin, La Tupina in Bordeaux, France, and La Bastide St. Antoine, a two star Michelin restaurant in Grasse, France. He is "over the moon" about his nomination.
The final nominees will be announced during a press conference at a.o.c restaurant in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 15. The nominees will also be revealed live on the James Beard Facebook and Twitter accounts. The 2017 James Beard Awards Gala will be on Monday, May 1 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The event is open to the public and a gala reception will immediately follow the awards ceremony. For more information visit: jamesbeard.org/awards