Chef Anthony Florian
Some chefs cook Italian food, but for some chefs, Italian food is in their soul. Anthony Florian (Chef Tony) is one of those chefs. His earliest memories involve the smells and tastes of Italy; as far back as he can remember, tortellini- and ravioli-making were part of the yearly traditions. These dishes graced the family table at every major holiday--ravioli at Christmas and soup tortellini on New Year’s Day, all hand rolled and lovingly crimped.
After his schooling, the natural segue for Chef Tony was culinary school. He graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 2005 and spent nearly a year in Italy cooking in two restaurants—first, Da Gigetto, and then Casa Brusada, both high-end restaurants in the Veneto region. Upon his return, he began his professional career at Dry Creek Kitchen, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Healdsburg owned by Charlie Palmer. To further his career, Chef Tony moved to Santi in Geyserville, where he learned to make salumi under the tutelage of Franco Dunn, and to advance his knowledge of fine Italian cooking. He stayed at Santi for three years, eventually moving to Santa Rosa with the restaurant, now as a sous chef.
In 2010, Chef Tony returned to San Francisco, where he worked at several fine dining restaurants. His favorite by far was Quince, where Chef Michael Tusk’s attention to detail and extended knowledge of fresh food moved his career far forward. To Chef Tony, Chef Tusk “made him a chef,” instilling in him the farm-to-table concept and teaching him to reach far within to bring his offerings to a new level of taste and quality.
Every great Italian chef knows how to utilize good olive oils, and Chef Tony is no exception. Eight years ago, he was invited to become a part of the California Olive Oil Council (COOC). He is now a Master Taster; twice a month, he meets with other members of the COOC , where they taste and evaluate California olive oils to determine whether they may carry the COOC seal of excellence. In June 2018, he will travel to Lombardia, Italy, where he will be one of a panel of judges for an international olive oil competition. For Chef Tony, the trip is not only about the competition—he will be going “home.”
Chef Tony is now the executive chef at Seven Hills, an upscale Italian restaurant whose farm-to-table offerings are sought by diners in the San Francisco environs as well as travelers from the United States and the world. Chef Tony often does not finalize his menu until he has been to the farmer’s market and has seen the season’s freshest and most delicious offerings. Diners always leave the restaurant feeling as if they’ve eaten something extraordinary.
On most days, you can find Chef Tony at Seven Hills, creating dishes for the evening crowd and teaching his cooks, in his unflappable style, how to expand their knowledge and passion for Italian cuisine. His love for his Italian roots is evident in everything he prepares.