Scott Anderson is the executive chef and co-owner of Princeton’s Elements and Mistral restaurants. A James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic for the past five years, Anderson also showcases his culinary predilection for fresh local ingredients and modern techniques at the recently opened Mistral in King of Prussia, PA.
“I’ve been in Princeton for about 20 years now. From the first time I set foot here, I loved it. I’m a nature guy; my alter ego is ‘monk chef,’ so my favorite part about Princeton is all the parks, trails, streams, and forests. Living here has allowed me to get to know the forests and parks, which I try to forage and locally source ingredients from every day. The amount of wild edibles makes this area really special.
I get to work with people who are most interested in doing the best they can at what they do. My chef team and I like to visit the local farms and butchers almost every day to source ingredients for that day’s service. Both the Elements and Mistral menus rely heavily on the seasonality and freshness of ingredients—it’s what we’re known for and what makes us stand apart from the many other restaurants in the area. Especially so at Elements: We’ll change our menu daily in order to reflect the ingredients available to provide our guests with the highest-quality flavors they might not find elsewhere. I take them with us on our journey, introducing them to the flavors of the Central Jersey area.
[I’ve also enjoyed] watching how the town grows, including the people who live here. I get to know many of our guests on a personal level and so they feel at home when they arrive. In this town, it’s important for us to connect with our guests beyond just the five senses they experience while eating.” —As told to Jennifer P. Henderson