Sea Change's Erik Anderson takes our questions

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Photo courtesy Erik Anderson
Sea Change, the Guthrie's newest restaurant addition, has been hard at work winning diners over since it opened its doors over a month ago. In case you haven't heard, the Tim McKee operation (in partnership with the Dallas-based Culinaire) specializes in sustainable seafood, serving lunch, dinner, and late-night fare and featuring a raw bar.

Head Chef Erik Anderson brings experience to the kitchen that should knock anyone's socks off, with stints at Napa Valley's French Laundry and gigs locally at Levain, Auriga, Mission American Kitchen & Bar, and, most recently, Porter & Frye. Anderson has also taught at the local Cordon Bleu. Dude's been in the biz basically since birth. Anderson chatted with Hot Dish for a few minutes recently.

1) What did you have for breakfast? "Haven't had anything yet." [It was just after noon.]

2) How did you get interested in cooking professionally? "My dad was a sous chef at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, so I kind of started from there," Anderson says. "My mother owned a little breakfast and lunch restaurant, so I started doing dishes there." Anderson moved to the Twin Cities about five years ago.

3) What is your favorite cooking tool? "My sous chef, Jim Christiansen," Anderson says, sans hesitation. "He just pretty much keeps everything running." When prompted, Anderson also admits he really likes spoons. (Chefs are flat-out bananas about their plating spoons. Just ask one.)

"I'm really big into spoons," he says. "Only spoons, no tongs. I get really weird about my spoons. I have three spoons, and I tell people I usually like them more than most people I work with." Anderson buys his spoons at antique stores or on eBay or other resale shops.

4) Are you reading anything right now? "The Big Fat Duck Cookbook" by Heston Blumenthal and "Kaiseki: The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto's Kikunoi Restaurant." "I usually have like three or four different books I'm reading," Anderson says. "Usually cookbooks or something about food."

5) Where do you go eat on your days off? Anderson says if he goes out, it's usually for lunch, and there's really only about three places he goes: Uncle Franky's, Be'wiched, and Pho Tau Bay.


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