Chas Anderson, 29
Chef/Owner, Burrata Wood Fired Pizza
By one measure, Chas Anderson's Burrata Wood Fired Pizza restaurant in Eastchester was four generations in the making: His mother’s grandfather was a chef at the ritzy India House Club in downtown Manhattan; his father’s father was the host of the famed 21 Club, also in Manhattan; and his mother was an avid cook.
By another, Burrata had been incubating for about a decade. Ten years ago, after his freshman year at Iona College, Anderson, now 29, said sayonara to school and shipped off to Pittsburgh to learn the intricacies of flat-bread baking, the very foundation of pizza-making (“If you’re not starting with a good foundation, you’re not going to end up with a superior product,” he says). Then he fled to the kitchens of pizzerias in Naples, Italy; then to Milwaukee, where he spent a year learning the restaurant business from his relatives, owners of 15 restaurants; on to the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute) in Manhattan; and, finally, back to Italy, this time to study at the prestigious ALMA cooking school and intern with Chef Valentino Marcattilli at his triple-Michelin Star-rated Ristorante
San Domenico in Imola.
Today, of course, Anderson is in Eastchester, and it’s not unusual for Burrata, which seats 55, to do 300 covers on a Friday or Saturday night. The New York Times, which rated Burrata “worth it,” their second-highest honor for dining establishments, wrote that “his pizza crust—the holy grail of pizza geeks—has a tender, springy sponge and a brittle shell.” All that time spent getting it right paid off, and not just for the stellar reviews (did we mention Burrata has cultivated a 93-percent rating on UrbanSpoon since it opened in February 2012?). “I live for watching people enjoy themselves eating the food I’ve created,” Anderson says.