Erik Anderson & Josh Habiger

food and wine best new chef

Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson host a constantly changing menu at The Catbird Seat -the new hot spot restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee where no two nights are the same. Instead, the menu changes every day to reflect the moods of these two chefs, as well as the fresh, seasonal ingredients they’re looking to feature. The two chefs have collectively worked under culinary greats such as Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, Tom Colicchio and Heston Blumenthal. It was only a matter of time before they teamed up to open the innovative endeavor that is The Catbird Seat. Recently named Food and Wine’s best new chefs of 2012, the two took time away from an exploding career to let us in on their vision, inspirations, and of course, what they recommend…

What’s different about your food?

Our food is different because it’s ours.

We know you are constantly making changes to the menu, how do you decide what’s on it every night?

Every week we sit down and change things because we get bored easily. We are actually the ones cooking the food so it gets old to us after a while. It’s nice to do something new every week, don’t you think?

What’s special about deciding what your customers have, rather than them deciding?

We push them in the direction we want and expose them to food that maybe they haven’t tried.

Can you share some menu favorites from ones you’ve done?

No, they change all the time. You cook them and then forget them…kinda like a girl.

How do your travels play into your changing menus? Could you give some specific examples?

If we aren’t at the restaurant then the restaurant isn’t open so…travel is limited.

What are some of your favorite cities to travel for food? Where do you go to there?

New York City – Bon Chon and Ippudo

Minneapolis – Piccolo and Café Maude

Chicago – Schwa

Where do you go for inspiration?

We jog or go to a bathhouse. (Really???!!!!)

Do you believe a tasting menu is like a story? What stories are you trying to tell?

I think that there are restaurants like NOMA and Meadowood that use their tasting menu as a narrative.  We are always changing so our story is more about our own evolution.

What experience do you want your customers to walk away with? Do you find they try things they wouldn’t have normally eaten?

Some do.  People are particular about what they eat.  I think that most people that come here are going to try whatever is in front of them.

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