Chef Tony whips up a quick and tasty pasta dish. Wochit
By: Brad Kadrich, hometownlife.com
Tuesday is National Italian Food Day around the country.
For chef Anthony Calabrese, that pretty much describes every day since he was 15 years old.
That’s when Calebrese, the chef at Cantoro Italian Market in Plymouth, embarked on what would become his life’s work, learning to cook at the feet of his mother and grandmother in their Canton home.
“I liked watching my mom and grandma in the kitchen,” Calabrese said. “I was always at their ankles, helping.”
Calabrese is a 1998 graduate of the renowned culinary arts program at Schoolcraft College in Livonia.
Q: What’s been your background in cooking?
A: My first job was doing prep work and as a bus boy at (Livonia’s) Laurel Manor. My first cooking job was at Wyndgate Country Club (in Oakland Township). I’ve also been at Tribute (formerly in Farmington Hills), at Bacco in Southfield and the Italian American Club in Livonia. I’ve been here (Cantoro, 15550 N. Haggerty) since 2012 and have been cooking since it opened in March 2014.
Q: Why is Italian food such a favorite for you?
A: My dad was born in Italy, then moved to Canada. I come from an Italian household, so there was always a lot of cooking going on. I like the diversity (of Italian food). From the top of Italy to the bottom … cooking is vastly different.
Q: What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
A: Pretty much any kind of pastas. It doesn’t matter what kind. You can change pasta dishes like you change your mind. There’s so much you can do with it.
Q: Who is most responsible for your pursuit of cooking as a career?
A: My parents and my grandmother. My mom and my grandma saw how much I enjoyed it and they encouraged me. I think my dad would have liked me to be a doctor or something (Calabrese smiles when he says that), but they’ve all been very supportive.
Q: Do you see yourself with a restaurant of your own some day?
A: Yes. The end goal has always been to own my a place of my own. When and where? I have no idea. But that’s the plan.
This article was written for the Northville Record and posted here.