If you’re looking for a high-quality meal by an award-winning chef, your first stop probably isn’t your local bowling alley. But Chef John Anderson is changing the conversation at Kings Bowl at North Hills. Following his quick rise through the kitchens in Pittsburgh and then Raleigh, he’s become known as Iron Chef Anderson thanks to an underdog win at the Midtown Farmers’ Market Iron Chef Competition last summer.
As a teenager, Anderson worked in his aunt’s rib restaurant, and he’s enjoyed being in the kitchen ever since.
“I love cooking,” said Anderson. “It’s something I would do even if I wasn’t paid for it.”
Anderson moved to Raleigh in 2014 to join the Kings kitchen. In January 2017, he was named Executive Chef. In this role, he continuously considers ways to improve current recipes on the menu.
“I’m kind of an artist,” he says of his work as a chef. “It’s creative. You can put so much into the food.”
That’s just what he did last summer to cinch his win at the Midtown Farmers’ Market Iron Chef Competition. Up against other North Hills restaurant chefs, Anderson created a meal using ingredients from the Midtown Farmers’ Market. Unlike his competitors, Anderson did not have a sous chef, and he only used one burner.
“You can make something really beautiful out of a few little items picked out at a farmers’ market,” Anderson said. His salad and entrée courses, featuring sausage, sweet peppers, and spicy greens, solidified his new nickname: Iron Chef Anderson.
Outside of his job, Anderson passes along his love of cooking to his four children. A favorite family dish is his fried chicken. And, as you might guess, the favorite TV show: Chopped. His passion for satisfying his family with delicious food extends to his Kings customers.
“At the end of the day, my goal is to please every guest who comes in the building,” Anderson said. “If I can put a smile on anyone’s face, that’s a great feeling. We can touch someone’s day, touch someone’s life, any time they walk through these doors. My goal is to always make it a great experience.”