Rising Star Chef Tyler Williams of Woodfire Grill - Biography
Tyler Williams may have grown up in the small town of Okemos, Michigan, but he didn’t grow up with a small-town palate. As a child, Williams became friends with the son of a Lebanese family and quickly became enamored with the culture and cuisine. And as he grew up, Williams was enthusiastic about all things new and different in food and culture, eventually studying cultural geography at Arizona State University to satiate his inward wanderlust, topping it off with a degree from Western Culinary Institute.
After culinary school, a worldly Williams moved to Portland, Oregon, to work at Genoa, where he rotated menu leadership with two other chefs. But his culinary experience really took off when he headed to Chicago. After working for several months in the front of the house at 2005 Chicago Rising Star Homaro Cantu’s Moto, he took a position at Graham Elliot, where he was inspired by the chef’s whimsical and nostalgic style. Williams later worked as chef de cuisine at Gemini Bistro, where he defined his own playful, global approach.
Williams came to Atlanta to work as sous chef in Anne Quartrano’s fine dining house Bacchanalia in summer 2010. Even though he hasn’t lived in Atlanta long, Williams has quickly found a home in the eclecticism of the ATL culinary scene. As chef of Quatrano’s meat-centric Abattoir, Williams brought his vivacious personality and open-minded palate to the fore. That creative spirit helped earn him a place in StarChefs.com's class of 2012 Atlanta Rising Stars. In January 2013, Williams left Abattoir for an executive chef position at Atlanta's Woodfire Grill. With a dedication to local, organic proteins and vegetables (Williams is a member of Slow Food USA and Georgia Organics) his cuisine is addictive and classically farm to table.