The Catbird Seat’s Original Chefs Reunite to Cook Together Again - at Animal in LA
...and this is definitely a reunion I want to be a part of. No, it’s not in Nashville...but these two chefs have a big history in Nashville’s food scene.
First, some backstory.
Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson were the duo that started it all. It was 2011 and The Catbird Seat was a new concept for Nashville - the traditional relationship between chef and guest flipped on its head. A team of chefs worked behind an open U-shaped counter, engaging with guests, who now sit privy to a visual and interactive dining adventure, the menu acting as the mysterious path ahead.
Early in its existence, The Catbird Seat received tremendous praise - honored as one of GQ Ten Best New Restaurants in America, Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants in America and Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wine Restaurants. In 2012, Josh and Erik were honored as two of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs and then subsequently named as a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation.
I like to think of The Catbird Seat as this kind of springboard for chefs - they hop on with culinary freedom at their fingertips, muster everything they’ve got, and jump off with the world at their fingertips. And man, did Josh and Erik FLY off of that springboard.
So where are they now?
Josh landed pretty close by, as a matter of fact. He remains a member of the SH family and is the chef and co-owner of Wedgewood Houston’s popular watering hole and kitchen, Bastion. In the two years it’s been open, Bastion has twice been named a James Beard Semifinalist. And Erik? He’s the chef at San Francisco’s 3-Michelin Star restaurant Coi. No big deal.
And why do we care...right now?
Because Josh and Erik will be cooking together for the first time since their final days at The Catbird Seat in 2013 - and we are really, really excited to see what their get-together will bring forth .
This reunion appropriately takes place as a part of the 10th anniversary of Animal, which opened its doors in 2008 with Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Josh and Erik cooked with them back in 2013 and now Jon and Vinny have invited them back again in celebration of Animal’s decade in existence, called the 10th Anniversary Fairfax Tour. The event features a slew of 21 (!!) chefs (all friends, colleagues, mentors, and heroes of Jon and Vinny) participating in the 18-night tour. And this list is impressive...to the likes of Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Yountville), Brandon Jew (Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco), Gabriela Camara (Contramar, Mexico City), Jeremiah Stone & Fabian von Hauske Valtierra (Contra & Wildair, NY), and Tom Colicchio (Craft, NY)...just to name a few.
And, no, of course I didn’t forget Josh and Erik. Their night during the five month tour is quickly approaching: Monday, September 17th.
Jon, Vinny, Josh, and Erik will be offering a collaborative multi-course meal for $90 per guest. Tickets are available now, here, but we don’t suspect they’ll be up for grabs for long.
So, maybe you went to The Catbird Seat back in the day and want to take in a bit of nostalgia with these two chefs as they cook together again? Orrr maybe you’ve recently been to The Catbird Seat and thought, “Damn, I WISH I could’ve tried food from the previous iterations of chefs, too!” WELP. I’m here to tell you, now is your chance to hop on a plane, get your butt to LA, and do just that.