Food & Wine: Chef Cara Stadler
Photo © Ted Axelrod

Cara Stadler

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).

Recipes by Cara Stadler

The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.