Anthony Lamas’ roots in the Latin culinary tradition run deep, as he found his passion for food while working in his family’s Spanish restaurant as a child. Likewise, his mother’s heirloom recipes sparked his interest in the cuisine of his Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage. By helping to 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 while developing Pacific Rim recipes, and he credits the acclaimed chef as his mentor.
In 1992, Lamas discovered Louisville, Kentucky as an emerging culinary destination, and he 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.
Lamas has also garnered significant national attention for Seviche. He has cooked at the James Beard House five times, and he was honored as a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Southeast award three times. John Mariani of Esquire has 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.” Latina.com named Lamas a “leader of the Latin food revolution alongside chefs like Douglas Rodriguez and Jose Garces in 2010. In 2011, Lamas won the title of Extreme Chef on the hit Food Network show. In 2013, Lamas was featured on the Cooking Channel show America’s Best Bites. Southern Living, Food Arts, Bon Appétit and Wine Spectator have also showcased 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, and his efforts earned him a Seafood Ambassador Award at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 2011 Cooking for Solutions festival. Seviche is now a restaurant partner in the Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.
Lamas is very active on the food festival circuit, including participation in the Taste of Derby, the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games “Cookin’ in the Bluegrass” Celebrity Chef Dinner Series and the Fork, Cork and Style Festival with Emeril Lagasse in Louisville and Chicago. He has also been featured at the the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, the BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival and the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival. In 2012, Lamas was featured as a Chef magazine “Chef of the Year” finalist.