Queens of the Kitchen: Queen Anne Hardee Taylor

By Leslie Moore

Queens of the Kitchen: Queen Anne Hardee Taylor

Anne Hardee Taylor, co-owner of Bistro 217 in Pawleys Island, is happily married to the love of her life, Derek Taylor. Anne and Derek are still newlyweds, married a little more than a year. This Sasee Queen has two children; a son, Justin, 16 and a daughter, Lillian, 13, and the family makes their home in Pawleys Island. Sophisticated and elegant, Anne effortlessly makes all of her restaurant patrons feel special and it’s easy to tell how much she enjoys her life and work.

Would anyone call you a Queen of the Kitchen?

I am the Queen of Tasting! My partner, Adam Kirby, is the executive chef and does most of the cooking and menu planning, but I get to taste and give input on everything we serve. I am the head of operations and take care of all the administrative work for the restaurant.

How long have you been a restaurant owner? Why did you choose the restaurant business?

We opened Bistro 217 nine years ago, but I’ve been in the restaurant business since college. I love it – even as a child I looked forward to going out to dinner and wanted to work in a restaurant. Bistro 217 is my passion. Every night is like a new dance card, and I always hope it will be full. I want everyone to have a wonderful dining experience – with great atmosphere, service and unique, eclectic food. If I can, I like to speak to everyone who dines here. Adam and I are a good team – plus we have a supportive and hardworking staff – most of them have been with us since we opened Bistro 217. The people I work with are my family.

What is your favorite tool/appliance in the kitchen?

Good knives and tongs

Do you use cookbooks? Which one is your favorite?

I do love cookbooks, but I mostly just browse through them. I only keep a few at home.

Favorite celebrity chef?

I don’t have a favorite celebrity chef, but my daughter and I enjoy watching “Chopped.” It’s interesting to see how the various chefs interpret all different types of food.

Do you like to entertain? What is your favorite dish to prepare for company?

Usually, if I want to entertain, I can bring guests to the restaurant, but on holidays we do have family over. I like to grill, it’s easy and fast. My daughter and I enjoy cooking together for fun; we just made some delicious banana nut bread cookies!

What are your Thanksgiving plans? What’s on the menu?

I go to Mt. Pleasant to my parent’s home, and let my mother do all of the cooking! I take my turn when everyone comes to my house for Christmas. I do bring the wine, though – another of my passions. Derek and I went to Napa Valley for our honeymoon and tasted so many unique wines; I continue to learn more and more. My current favorite wines are chardonnay and pinot noir

What were your Thanksgiving celebrations like growing up?

Our Thanksgivings were very traditional – stuffed turkey and all the trimmings. My parents loved to entertain, and my mom is a great cook. We are Italian, and always ate and drank very well and in abundance. My brother and I both inherited the love of good food. He’s also in the restaurant business and works as the general manager of a restaurant in Washington, DC.

Besides running this restaurant, what are your other favorite activities?

I love being on the water – it doesn’t matter if it’s the ocean or the river. We live on a canal that leads to the river and boating in the late afternoon is one of my favorite things to do. I do Pilates and run on the beach for exercise.

Volunteer activities?

I try to support local charities as much as possible – I was a single mother for a long time and know how important these charities are to our community; recently we’ve been able to help the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, Smith Medical Clinic, the Wooden Boat Show and Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art.

What are you most grateful for during this season of thanksgiving?

I have a wonderful life! I’m very grateful for my family – both at home and at Bistro 217.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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