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Best New Chefs

Cara Stadler

2014 Best New Chef Award Profile
Cara Stadler
Photo © Ted Axelrod

Restaurant: Tao Yuan

Location: Brunswick, ME

Why She's Amazing: Although Stadler is only 26, she's already cooked in top French kitchens and launched a buzzed-about supper club in China. Now she masterminds an outstanding, Asian-inspired small-plates restaurant in Brunswick, ME.

Quintessential Dish: Grandma Tang's roast pork buns, a regularly occurring item on the often-changing menu.

Culinary School: Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.

Restaurant CV: 12 Chairs, Laris, Shanghai; Gordon Ramsay au Trianon, Versailles, France.

A Family Affair: For eight months, Stadler and her mother, Cecile, whose parents are from Shanghai, ran a dining club in Beijing called Gourmet Underground. Now the two co-own Tao Yuan, where Cecile is the business manager.

Found Ingredients: One of Stadler's hallmarks is using seasonal ingredients in unexpected ways. In spring, she serves calamari with local fiddlehead ferns pickled with Sichuan peppers.

Homegrown: Stadler has plans to build an aquaponic greenhouse next to Tao Yuan, combining aquaculture (raising freshwater fish, crustaceans and mollusks in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water).

2 recipes by Cara Stadler

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