“Three words: followed my mother,” is what Restaurant Lanjeron’s Head Chef Anthony Chase will tell you if you ask him why he decided to start cooking.
And if you could meet her, you would want to shake her hand.
Chase’s mother is, after all, responsible for leading one of the areas most experienced culinary talents, with a particular penchant for fusion cusine, to what seems like his professional destiny at Lanjeron.
In the kitchen at Lanjeron, Barbados-born Chase does well with fusing foods of European cultures together to create inventive dishes that are beautiful in color and presentation and diverse in flavor and texture. His roots and formal culinary training from Barbados most certainly show through his work, but it’s his professional training in French cuisine and knowledge of Russian food that allowed him to create the menu staples with which he works.
A tall man with an inviting smile, Chase speaks with an accent apparent of his roots and reveals that he has a surprising fluency in the Russian language, which is undoubtedly perfected by working closely with Lanjeron’s bilingual kitchen and wait staff. He came to Lanjeron upon its opening in 2006 and brought with him an impressive resume which owner and operator Alan Valsberg said stood out from the rest.
“He really knows how to combine European delicacies to create outstanding dishes that are truly unique,” Valsberg said. “And we really just value him so much.”
After receiving a formal culinary education at the Barbados Culinary institute, Chase left the West Indies upon graduation in 1973. His immigration to America lead him to Manhattan, the perfect setting to receive the bulk of his professional training at top eateries like Savoy, Rasputin, and Severny. There, he was trained as a French chef and started to gain experience dabbling in Russian cuisine, allowing him the knowledge necessary for the French and Russian fused foods that Lanjeron puts forward.
His experiences in working with cuisine from all over the world have allowed him to add worldly influences with keen knowledge and ability to Lanjeron’s diverse menu. Chase has worked closely with the owners in creating Lanjeron’s current menu, keeping fusion and invention on the forefront. Dishes like Herring served with Potatoes and Russian Style Potatoes served Chanterelle Mushrooms were created keeping authentic Russian cuisine in mind, while other dishes such as the Chicken Cashew—Thai style and Neapolitan Salmon, are a perfect example that Lanjeron shows no cultural limits when it comes to fusion.
“There are always surprises,” Chasi said. “Not bad surprises, good surprises.”
Now with over 30 years of experience under his belt and over 3 years of work at Lanjeron, Chase has taken great lengths to perfect the cuisine that comes out of his kitchen. Many Lanjeron favorites can be described as old world favorites that have been revamped with a new world perspective. Its hard to find many commonalities across the range of dishes, or a cuisine that represents a single culture, but one thing that is consistent throughout is that Chase prides himself that the menu created at Lanjeron is always excellent and reasonably pierced.
What he likes most about cooking is the ability it gives him to create a wide array of beautiful dishes. His favorite thing to prepare is of French origin, a dish that he describes as cross between a stew and a casserole if prepared successfully, something he surely learned early on in his training in French cuisine.
Chase also prides his culinary creations in their freshness and superb quality. All of the ingredients Lanjeron purchases are high end, and every dish you receive during your dinner or lunch at Lanjeron is prepared while you wait.
Chase is currently in the midst of preparing a fresh menu for the restaurant boasting alterations that will surely encompass more parts of the world than Lanjeron has already attempted to incorporate into their menu. Chase won’t give away too much, but says to look out for more elements of Asian cuisine in the coming months.
“In the restaurant industry you are constantly moving forward,” Chase said. “So we are going to bring in more influences from all over the world.”
But fear not Lanjeron lovers because Chase said the new menu won’t so much as feature drastic changes change as it will simply be enhanced.
Look for the new menu to appear at Lanjeron within the next couple of months, but until then be sure to reserve a table so you can grab a taste of Chase’s ability to bring an array of cultures together through food –a language we can all understand.