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Intriguing, Worldwide Culinary Experience Comes to Wind Crest

May 22, 2014

HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO (May 22, 2014 ) - Anthony Falco has been named Executive Chef at Wind Crest retirement community in Highlands Ranch, CO. He brings with him a vast culinary background:
Anthony grew up in an Italian home where food, whether cooking or eating, brought people together.  He and his older brother Keith, who is now the Executive Chef at the Marriot Renaissance Hotel in Denver, spent countless hours of their childhood together in the kitchen cooking, learning, and tasting.
Anthony went to on to attend culinary school, and shortly thereafter, trained at the New York City landmark French Restaurant, Chanterelle, under Chef David Waltuk.  Chef Waltuk took the young Anthony under his wing as an apprentice; he worked long hours for no money just for the change to learn from such a great culinary teacher.
Anthony learned there that being a chef is just as much about being a teacher as it is knowing how to gook great food.  It was at Chanterelle that he developed an appreciation and understanding for the beautiful French techniques.  The inborn knowledge he had of Italian food paired well with his newfound understanding of French cuisine---they were both heavily dependent on the cooking process to bring out the flavor of food.  He mastered the art of cooking with cream and butter, and in doing so, took a fine appreciating of braising meats.
After Chanterelle, Anthony went to Costa Rica to travel, live, cook, and eat.  He credits this time in his life for being his first exposure to a different type of cuisine.  He didn't grow up eating Latin food, but when he was exposed to it in Costa Rica, it gave Anthony a sense of appreciation for the origin of food.
He learned that travelling is the only way to truly understand why the world's different cuisines are the way they are.  There is history to food, he found out; the driving forces behind it are culture and love.  He armed himself with a knowledge of Latin spices and returned home to combine them with everything he had ever known about cooking.
Anthony went on to serve as Executive Chef at Mill River Inn and Tupelo Honey, the first and second most highly-rated restaurants on Long Island, respectively, during his tenure.  At Mill River Inn, his cuisine was seasonally-dependent, but was New American at heart, and had a focus on delicate presentation.
At Tupelo Honey, Anthony mastered the art of New American cooking with a Caribbean flare.  The colorful décor matched the plates he served to guests---the dishes exploded with flavor and were vibrant with color.
After leaving Tupelo Honey, Anthony realized that the culinary landscape in America, and specifically in New York, was changing quicker than he had a handle on.  He had a mastery of western cooking---Italian, French, Latin---but all of it drew from similar influences and certainly involved similar techniques.  The food he knew was heavily reliant on how it was cooked.  It was rich, thick, and satisfying.
However, he wanted to know more---he wanted to know how to cook Asian food.  He had long been fascinated with Asian cuisine; it lies on the opposite side of the spectrum from what he was so familiar with. The emphasis in Asian cuisine is not placed on how the food is cooked---in simple broths---but instead on the spices and flavors added to enhance the finished dish.
Anthony decided that he needed to understand both sides of the spectrum, so he packed his bags and ventured to Southeast Asia, where he lived in Thailand, travelled through Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, and eventually made it to Japan.  The trip lasted several months, and along the way Anthony embraced the food he was eating.
In Thailand he experimented with Thai curry; in Laos and Cambodia he tried noodles that he had never even known existed in broths whose flavor  excited him; in Vietnam he attended three different short-session culinary schools; in Japan he drove into the world of sushi---a world that he had always loved, but knew relatively little about.  He visited kitchens and cooked with chopsticks.  He studied the difference between the cultures and how that was reflected in their dishes.
Anthony is the chef he is today because of the vast array of experiences he has had.  He has literally been around the world exploring different flavors and techniques, all of which he incorporates into his progressive American style today.  He not only has a love for the finished product, but an appreciation for all of the ingredients and where they come from, and there is no great joy for him than serving others his delicious food.