An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Aug 16, 2013
05:26 AM
The Connecticut Table

Food Network's Anne Burrell Visits Tavern 1757 in Seymour

Food Network's Anne Burrell Visits Tavern 1757 in Seymour

Anne Burrell at Tavern 1757 in Seymour.

Food Network star Anne Burrell and her team converged on Seymour’s Tavern 1757 to film an episode of “Chef Wanted With Anne Burrell.” Mark your calendar for Aug. 22 at 10 p.m. to see four “chef-testants,” Brian Reilly, Thomas Valdes, Ryan Escude and Kelli Daniels, compete for the coveted job as executive chef at Tony Mavuli’s Tavern 1757 (318 Roosevelt Drive Route 34 www.tavern1757.com ).

This description on Amazon of Anne’s new book, “Own Your Kitchen: Recipes to Inspire & Empower,” coincides with what the chefs on her show need to do to win the position of executive chef: “Owning your kitchen is about being in charge when you cook — understanding how flavors work together, how to improvise with ingredients you have on hand and above all, how to feel confident and stress-free when making meals.”

I spoke with Anne and Tony about the episode called, “A Countryside Tavern,” and was curious to know who picks the guests for the dinner the two finalists oversee, the Food Network or the restaurateur. Burrell said, “It is up to the owner.”

She was impressed with what she called this “sweet” restaurant, accented with reclaimed wood and stone from the original building dating to 1757. Although the filming took place on a beautiful spring day, Burrell mentioned that she would also enjoy the restaurant’s atmosphere on a chilly fall day or during a winter’s snowfall with the hearty meats roasting and the wood-burning oven. The restaurant’s location made her think, “leaving the big city” to move to a small town didn’t sound bad. “The show is like a match.com of the restaurant world” and she noted this episode is one of her most successful “matchmaking” efforts.

Mavuli had a great time with Anne and the production team and can’t wait for people to see the episode and then come to taste the creations of the winner aka his new executive chef. He also welcomes you to the restaurant on Aug. 22 to view the show on large-screen televisions.

Tavern 1757 has some unique offerings, including a monthly Cooking With Tony dinner; a wine cellar housing a global collection; a “chef’s table,” accommodating dinners for up 22 people; and what I call, “a night on the town,” where Tony will send his limousines to pick up you and your guests (minimum of 10 people spending a specified amount at the restaurant, within a 30-mile radius).

Editor's note: This story was excerpted from a Stephen Fries column that can be read in full at New Haven Register online. Also see Stephen Fries On the Food Scene blog.

Food Network's Anne Burrell Visits Tavern 1757 in Seymour

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