An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Aug 26, 2014
08:32 AM
The Connecticut Table

New Head Chef at ION, Middletown, Focuses on Fresh, Seasonal Vegetables

New Head Chef at ION, Middletown, Focuses on Fresh, Seasonal Vegetables

Kaitlyn Schroyer

Tamara Cayer is the new head chef at It’s Only Natural Restaurant in Middletown.

After settling into their new location this past year, It’s Only Natural Restaurant welcomed a new head chef.

Tamara Cayer, 33, of West Hartford, joined the team just two months ago, beginning a new vegetable-inspired menu base for the popular vegan restaurant.

Formerly of Pomegranate Cafe in Pheonix, Arizona, Cayer found her niche in vegan cooking with a twist of Southwestern style.

“I have always been cooking even when I was little,” Cayer said. “I just get really passionate about it.”

Cayer originally studied at Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island, before working under a French pastry chef at the Mayflower Inn followed by a bread baker in New Hampshire.

“I learned a lot of new things at a lot of great places,” Cayer said.

She then moved to Pheonix for six years, embracing vegan cooking for the first time, before finding herself back in New England at ION.

ION owner Renana Magee said Cayer is bringing a lot of changes to the restaurant.

“We have already radically changed the menu to include her exceptional cooking style,” Magee said.

One of the things that Cayer specializes in is focusing on fresh vegetables.

“I wanted to make the menu more seasonal and liven it up, make it more fresh,” Cayer said. “The burgers went from a grain-based patty to a portabello burger based on vegetables.”

Cayer’s favorite recipe is her Baja Tacos with local peppers and onions.

“Seasons change and what becomes available changes,” Cayer said. “I love it when fall and winter hit because there’s different greens and pumpkins. It sort of gets the creative juices flowing.”

For more information on ION, visit their website

For the full story, visit the Middletown Press's website. 

New Head Chef at ION, Middletown, Focuses on Fresh, Seasonal Vegetables

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