Whenever we interview chefs, we ask them a bunch of questions. Some are different, but we always end with the same ones — here’s how Tyler Williams, executive chef at Woodfire Grill answered…
Atlanta Eats: What would you be if you weren’t a chef?
Tyler: Perhaps I might be a teacher. A geography teacher. I’d like to be one of those travel show hosts, it seems like a good thing to be. My new goal is to get a travel show like Anthony Bourdain.
AE: What’s the most memorable bite you ever ate?
Tyler: The most memorable bite I’ve had in a restaurant would be bone marrow and snails in Bordelais in Portland. I was a young guy, I hadn’t eaten out at very many restaurants and that was…eureka! As far as family…the first time I ever had kibbeh. My friend, Ryan, growing up…his uncle made it, and they had this raw kibbeh which is lamb paste and bulgur wheat. And they had this dish with pine nuts, ground beef, onions, cumin, allspice black pepper, and salt. You eat it with freshly made pita bread and the two textures together are amazing. Being from the Midwest, and not really having that ever before in my life, really just spurred me onto getting interested in other cultures and food. It was awesome.
AE: What’s your guilty pleasure food?
Tyler: Cheese is probably up there. At home my wife, Julie, and I make taco salads all the time; it’s ground beef, refried beans, and one of those Ortega packs mixed together and layered with a salad and a couple of chips. Yeah, we kill that all the time. There’s healthy stuff in there, like olives and fresh veggies, but yeah…taco salad.
AE: When you’re not at work, where do you eat?
Tyler: Julie and I do a lot of Korean food, we go to different spots up on Buford Highway. We’ve got one spot we usually go to because it’s open late and it’s a craving after work. That’s Peter Chang’s, or Tasty China, so I like those places. We do Curly’s Fried Chicken, too. I eat at different ethnic places like El Rey del Taco, Louie’s Bistro, Soyu Izakawa, the food court at H-Mart, Lou’s Bakery. They’re all pretty much in the same area.
AE: Which chef is the most adventurous?
Tyler: Josh Keeler, the chef at Two Boroughs Larder in Charleston — I follow him on Instagram.
AE: What’s the best entree under $20 in Atlanta?
Tyler: Since I don’t work at Abattoir anymore, I say the shrimp and grits — Georgia white shrimp, super fresh.