The Catbird Seat Chefs Get Prestigious Invite To Cook at Beard House in New York



Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson have been cooking at their ambitious new restaurant The Catbird Seat for only two months, but they've already racked up one of more sought-after honors that chefs can receive.

They have been invited to cook a special dinner at the James Beard House in New York.

The two chefs have worked at some of the best restaurants in the world (they met at Chicago's Alinea, for example), so they already were fairly high-profile figures before The Catbird Seat opened Oct. 12. Then there's the fact that Catbird has dazzled nearly everybody who's been lucky enough to get a reservation at the 32-seat chef's bar that comprises the restaurant. (Its unique fare is a tasting menu of at least seven courses, served up by the chefs themselves, for a set price of $100.)

Scene critic Carrington Fox raved in her review, I raved, other local blogs have raved, and national outlets like the Today show have covered it.

It's worth noting that Catbird beverage director Jane Lopes, a veteran of acclaimed cocktail bar The Violet Hour in Chicago among other impressive gigs, will also go to the Beard House, to give diners a taste of her impressive beverage-pairing skills.

The Beard House invitation comes just a few months after another Nashville chef, Jeremy Barlow of Tayst, got to cook there. Looks like we're experiencing a pretty impressive year for Nashville's culinary reputation.

Read the full release after the jump.

The Catbird Seat Chefs to Cook at the James Beard House

Co-Chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson Honored to Prepare Five Course Dinner on
February 13 to Esteemed Guests and Friends

NASHVILLE, TENN. (December 13, 2011) — It is with great enthusiasm that Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson, co-chefs of The Catbird Seat restaurant, announce that they have been invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House on February 13.

“It is every chef’s dream to have the opportunity to cook at the James Beard House, and Erik and I are so excited to represent Nashville and The Catbird Seat in February,” said Habiger. “We have dreamed of this chance and have been continually fine tuning our menu to make sure it is a solid representation of our dishes.”

The James Beard Foundation was founded in 1986 based on the principal that food is an integral part of our everyday lives, and no one was a greater champion of that than cookbook author and teacher James Beard. The Foundation was developed to serve as a centerstone for culinary artistry and to foster the love, appreciate and admiration of food and those who create and enjoy it. His Greenwich Village home is now used as a stage for culinary greats to showcase their skill and creativity to members of the foundation, the media, and the general public. It is an honor and a privilege to host a dinner in Mr. Beard’s kitchen.

A dinner at the James Beard House generally consists of three to five passed hors d’oeuvres, five courses including dessert, and matching wines for each course. The Catbird Seat beverage director Jane Lopes will use this opportunity to delight guests with her inventive beverage pairings, similar to what a guest at The Catbird Seat experiences now.

“I strive to develop forward thinking pairings that enhance Josh and Erik’s dishes and surprise the guest by choosing unusual cocktails or wines from smaller vineyards that they wouldn’t find elsewhere,” said Lopes. “The James Beard dinner is such an ideal platform for all of us to continue to challenge both ourselves and our guests.”

The James Beard Dinner is open to the general public, who can purchase tickets in advance by visiting the James Beard web site. Dinner begins with guests entering through the kitchen of Mr. Beard’s home to meet the chefs before their meal. There is a cocktail reception from 7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. and dinner begins promptly at 8:00 p.m. If you are a member of the James Beard Foundation, you can purchase a ticket for $130 per person. If you are not a member, ticket prices are $170 per person.

While the staff of The Catbird Seat would love for their supporters to venture to New York for the Beard dinner, they also want to give guests the chance to experience the menu at the restaurant the week prior to the James Beard dinner. “We’ve had so much support from friends and family in Nashville and across the country,” said co-chef Erik Anderson. “Those who dine with us at The Catbird Seat know it’s a very intimate, personal setting, so we would love to have them share this experience with us as well.”

The Catbird Seat is a 32 seat, open kitchen restaurant located above The Patterson House at 1711 Division Street in Nashville. It opened in October and has received much attention from both local and national media, food bloggers, and critics. To make a reservation to dine at The Catbird Seat, please visit

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