Anthony Lamas’ Latin culinary roots run deep as he found his passion for food at a young age while working in his family’s Spanish restaurant. Likewise, his mother’s heirloom recipes sparked his interest in the cuisine of his Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage. By helping prepare meals on the family farm and participating in Future Farmers of America, Lamas was practicing the “farm to table” philosophy before it was a national movement. To pursue his dream of becoming a professional chef, Lamas trained with the San Diego Culinary Apprenticeship Program and worked with Jeff Tunks at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Under Tunks’ tutelage, Lamas explored West Coast flavors and Pacific Rim recipes; he credits the acclaimed chef as his mentor.
In 1992, Lamas discovered Louisville, Kentucky as an emerging culinary destination and moved there with the dream of cooking with leading local talent while working toward opening his own restaurant. His style of cooking was unique to the area, and in 2005 he opened Seviche to rave reviews. Early accolades included Lamas being named a “Top Chef to Watch” by Louisville Magazine. Seviche has consistently maintained a four-star rating from the Louisville Courier-Journal, and Latina.com named Lamas a “leader of the Latin food revolution” alongside chefs like Douglas Rodriguez and Jose Garces.
Lamas has also garnered significant national attention for Seviche. In 2014, he was one of sixteen chefs asked to take part in the James Beard Foundation’s fifth Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. He has also cooked at the famed James Beard House six times, is a three-time James Beard Award semi-finalist and has participated in the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner Series in Nashville, Saratoga and Asheville. John Mariani of Esquire said, “Seviche has emerged as one of America’s best and most innovative Nuevo Latino restaurants with plenty of the chef’s personality in every dish… If you have time for one meal in Louisville, make it Seviche.”
With his passionate nature and engaging personality, Lamas is a seasoned TV chef – he won on Food Networks’ Extreme Chef, has appeared on the Cooking Channel’s America’s Best Bites and was featured in Back Home, a documentary produced by Diego Luna that explored his culinary connections to Mexico. Most recently, he competed on the debut episode of Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and helped bring new life to struggling venues as a culinary expert on SPIKE TV’s Bar Rescue. Southern Living, Food Arts, Bon Appétit and Wine Spectator have also highlighted Lamas’ talent.
In addition to his commitment to “spicing up the South” with his Nuevo Latino cuisine, Lamas is dedicated to raising awareness of sustainable seafood practices. His efforts earned him a Seafood Ambassador Award at the 2011 Monterey Bay Aquarium Cooking for Solutions festival and Seviche is a restaurant partner in the Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. Lamas is very active on the food festival circuit, including participation in the Food Network New York City Food & Wine Festival, Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and the BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival. In 2015 he released his first cookbook, “Southern Heat: New Southern Cooking, Latin Style” through Taunton Press.