Justin Thomas Anderson, 47, of Charlestown, RI and formerly West Hartford, CT, peacefully assumed Executive Chef duties behind the eternal line on August 25, 2021. Born September 2, 1973, in Hartford, CT, he was a lifelong Whaler's fan and beloved first son of Arthur and Barbara Anderson. In his youth, he felt no sympathy for Goldie Locks' disregard for personal space and, according to his Mom, demonstrated early signs of culinary acumen by referring to chicken wings as "chicken-on-the-cob." Justin was forevermore drowned out by the arrival of his siblings, loquacious, fiercely loyal brother Matthew, equally voluble and often long-winded, sister Laura (McGrath), and watched over by his kindred spirit youngest brother, Thomas. Raised in West Hartford, Justin was a '92 graduate of Conard High School, where with a group of masterful misfits he forged unbreakable bonds, whose antics tried the patience of parents and brake calipers. A self-taught musician, predominantly 12-string guitar, piano, and spoons, he won the talent show with his dear friend and accomplice Jimmy, for their rendition of Sam Cooke's, 'Bring It on Home to Me.' Justin was also a featured member of his Dad's garage band, Duke and the Esoterics, with an inspired cover of Neil Young's, 'Keep on Rockin' in the Free World.' He spent his summers in Quonochontaug, RI, getting into good trouble with lasting friends, and where he would eventually call home despite detesting sand. Justin briefly considered minoring in experimental off-roading with roommate Andy, at Franklin Pierce University, New Hampshire before answering his culinary calling. He attended Johnson and Wales in Providence, RI as he honed his technique and creativity at various established restaurants before working up the line at W.B. Cody's in Westerly, RI. Over many summers, and to his chagrin, he worked alongside all three of his younger siblings and jovial friends who dared only once to snag a free sample. After 15 years of succulent BBQ and a cast of treasured Cody's characters, including his best friend Chad, Justin enjoyed his remaining years at the Breachway Grill in Charlestown, RI. A gifted Executive Chef, throughout his career Justin was known for his tireless dedication, diligence, and intrepidness. Over the years, he refined his signature dishes of Chicken Scarpello, Fish Tacos, Sweet Chili Pasta, and Braised Short Ribs, while constantly pushing himself and the limits of expletives, on one occasion perfecting a tricky flan recipe for a Breachway Wine Night Dinner. A compassionate mentor and peer, he was quick with a knowing smirk to a harried colleague. His Breachway family holds fond memories of the annual Christmas after-party hosted at his home, as Justin's door remained open to anyone with an affinity for classic vinyl, maracas or the Miami Dolphins. Justin's legacy is in lives touched by his gentle, unassuming presence, genuine concern for others, perceptive humor, warm cackle, and as a three-time Whiffle Cup Champion. A faithful friend, he was willing to help others without judgement, unless asked to share his spareribs before the requisite four hours in the oven. He loathed being the center of attention, yet he looms large in memories as the person everyone wanted to sit next to, be it at his house indefatigably rooting for the Sox, impromptu singalongs at the Cove, a rare bonfire appearance, watching the Dolphin's beat the Patriots with a miracle hook and ladder at his brother Matt's, the holiday dinner table after supervising his sister's cooking, on Chad's boat leisurely cruising Ninigret pond, or pridefully watching his brother Tommy pluck his bass with the Stella Blue's Band at Garcia's in Portchester, NY. He cherished being an uncle, doting on his nieces and nephew, teaching them the art of the 'fake sleep' when chores were being assigned or parental figures neared. He is predeceased by his best dog pal, Cody and is survived by countless friends far and near, extended family including loving Aunts, Uncles and cousins, his parents, three siblings, his adoring out-laws that thought of Justin as their own, Kara Anderson and Michael McGrath, nieces Ava Anderson (7) and Lucille McGrath (7 months), nephew and Godson, Matthew McGrath (6) and his cat, Papi (14). Rest easy Tin Tin. We carry part of you with us so our love and your memory will prevail. "Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." – Bob Dylan. The family will hold a virtual service in the coming weeks, and an in-person celebration of his life in Rhode Island in the fall. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Justin's memory to the Autism Families of Connecticut or the Westerly Animal Shelter Wellness Clinic.
Published by Hartford Courant from Sep. 3 to Sep. 4, 2021.