Anderson’s inventive and progressive approach has earned him the attention and accolades from some of the industry’s most authoritative voices, among which includes the James Beard Foundation, which has named Anderson as a semi-finalist for Best Mid-Atlantic Chef in 2014 and 2013.
Anderson believes in the power of collective consciousness and that collaboration amongst fellow chefs and local purveyors allows for ideas to take root, flourish and move forward. This intrinsically American belief is practiced by Anderson and his team daily, working with local farms and butchers in farming, foraging, curing and fermenting ingredients to execute their vision of transforming classic dishes into something completely new.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Anderson spent part of his childhood in Japan; his exposure to foreign tastes and cultures piqued his interest in the culinary arts and greatly influenced his technique and the flavor profiles he develops.
Upon returning to New Jersey, the self-trained chef furthered his interest in culinary arts while working in the kitchens of some of the state’s most notable restaurants throughout high school and college. His talent, self-discipline and commitment to the craft recognized early in his professional career, Anderson earned a spot at acclaimed chef Craig Shelton’s Ryland Inn, where he quickly rose from line cook to chef de cuisine. Working alongside Shelton – well known for elevating New Jersey’s restaurant scene and appreciation of the interplay between wine and dining – Anderson developed his appreciation for progressive cooking techniques that draw out an ingredient’s purest flavors and for inventive plating that complemented the finished dishes components.
In 2008, along with business partner, Stephen Distler, Anderson opened elements, bringing to Princeton a new dining experience that seamlessly blended modernist technique and superlative ingredients in creating fresh and inviting flavors. Building on the culturally inspired, locally sourced cuisine of elements, in 2010, Anderson and Distler opened Mistral, which features smaller plates that empower guests to create their own tasting menus.
While working towards the reopening of elements at 66 Witherspoon Street in downtown Princeton and expanding Mistral’s offering to include a full-service bar, Anderson has enjoyed time traveling to restaurants across the nation, participating in guest chef dinners, observing the latest trends and techniques put to practice by his peers and honing his own skills.
Anderson’s fascination with the earth’s natural resources extends beyond the kitchens of elements and Mistral. An avid gardener and outdoorsman, he loves to fish and forage in the state parks for wild edibles such as ramps and morel mushrooms.