Mikel Anthony started his culinary career by studying the classical techniques at the Art Institute of California in San Diego. After helping to facilitate the opening of four restaurants in America’s Finest City, he quickly learned several techniques and skills. “I’ve had many mentors, from culinary instructors at the Art Insitute to chefs such as Chad White, Daniel Barron and Andres Hinojosa, all of whom helped develop my skill set,” he says. “I’m still in contact with them and often ask for advice. It’s important to have wise counsel.”
Currently the executive chef at Savoie restaurant in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego, Anthony has created a menu that he believes is a solid interpretation of the owners vision, also taking the guests and demographics into consideration. He enhances his dishes with exciting flavors from France, Italy, and Spain, sourcing produce and meats from some of the best purveyors who work with local farmers across the United States. “I like to frequent Specialty Produce and check out all the goodies in the farmers market section.”
A supporter of the slow food movement, especially with total utilization, Anthony explained that he doesn’t like wasting anything and respects the produce as well as the entire animal. “If it’s not on the plate in some shape or form, it’s in a stock or sauce. Processed and GMO food is terrible. But not all fast food is bad. Even I occasionally enjoy an In-N-Out Burger or carne asada burrito.”
Anthonys connects with his cooking by touching on the angles most important to him, including themes of ‘comfort’, ‘whimsical’, ‘classical’ and ‘modern’. His favorite items on the menu are the shared plates. “I enjoy eating multiple small courses so my palate is never bored,” he says. “I not only want it to look appetizing, but taste good as well.”
Anthony believes he is still an up and coming chef who is just getting started and hasn’t reached his peak yet. “To all the young cooks and especially culinary students, keep your head down, work hard, say yes chef and get it done,” he says. “Do everything with heart, integrity and passion. Outwork the person next to you, but at the same time work as a unit. Take the lead when necessary, but let it happen naturally and don’t force it or you will cause friction. When you see the opportunity, seize the moment and go get it!”
When he’s not working in the kitchen, Anthony likes to spend time with family, his dog Havana, or his motorcycle, which he enjoys riding up and down the coast.
©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana