Our Mission & Our Executive Chef Anthony Damiano, CMC
goal is to produce high-quality, flavorful food—all made from fresh ingredients—at a reasonable price. Our specially designed take-out boxes are recyclable, and our plastic food containers are recyclable, reusable and microwavable. (We also offer biodegradable utensils). Whether you order online for pick-up or dine in the restaurant, we strive to serve you a hot, wholesome meal in minutes.
Anthony Damiano is the mastermind behind menu, and he also serves as the restaurant’s general manager and COO. Anthony is the only Certified Master Chef (CMC) in New Mexico.
He started his career by washing dishes in the family’s Long Island restaurant. While his dad and uncles managed the front of the house, he worked in the back of the house with his mother because she didn’t yell as much as the men.
After studying culinary arts at New York City College for two semesters, he was selected to apprentice in Reykjavik, Iceland, and London. His apprenticeship culminated at Maxim’s in Paris. After returning to Manhattan, he completed his hotel and restaurant management degree.
By 1977, Anthony was the executive sous chef at The Pierre New York in Manhattan. With the Pierre’s parent company, he opened several hotels around the world. He later became Shearson Lehman Brother’s executive chef (in the American Express Tower at the World Trade Center), and the Russian Tea Room’s executive chef. He met his wife, Lisa, now an accomplished pastry chef and instructor at Santa Fe Community College, during his tenure at the Russian Tea Room. While in New York, he also orchestrated numerous elaborate events, including a 500-seat dinner at Lincoln Center for the New York City Ballet’s opening night of “Swan Lake” with Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1990.
In 1990, Anthony and his wife opened their first restaurant, Damiano’s at the Tarrimore House, in Delray Beach, Fla. Within 11 years, they opened seven more restaurants. During that time, Anthony was named “Rising Star Chef” by The Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Illustrated (1993, 1994, 1997), as well as “Best Chef in Palm Beach County” by Beard House magazine, which is published by the James Beard Foundation (1996, 1997, 1998). Their South Florida restaurants were featured on the Food Network and on local-market TV stations numerous times.
After selling many of their Florida restaurants in 1999, Donald Trump hired Anthony as Mar-a-Lago Resort & Estate’s corporate executive chef in Palm Beach. After three seasons, Anthony and Lisa moved to Las Vegas, where Anthony ran Harrah’s Rio Hotel & Casino (one of the nation’s longest buffet lines). Later, while opening several restaurants in Scottsdale, Ariz., Anthony worked as a chef instructor and chef de cuisine at Scottsdale Culinary Institute/Le Cordon Bleu, where he also ran the L’Academy and L’Ecole Restaurant.
On three occasions, the Damianos have appeared as guest chefs at the James Beard House. In 1996, the James Beard Foundation named Anthony as one of “America’s Rising New Chefs.” His wife, Lisa, is an accomplished pastry chef.
In 2006, the World Master Chefs Society awarded Anthony with the prestigious Certified Master Chef accreditation (worldmasterchefs. com). He has cooked for numerous celebrities, from Elizabeth Taylor to Woody Allen, Michael J. Fox, Tom Selleck, Michelle Pfieffer, as well as Mikhail Gorbachev and President George H. Bush (in the Russian Embassy in New York City in 1989). At the time, Anthony was the only American to cook for the leader of the Soviet Union.