|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 . Seviche has consistently maintained a four-star rating from the Louisville The most recent rating from local food critic Robin Garr is an impressive 96 points, and the culinary expert says of the restaurant: “I head over there as often as I can, and I recommend Seviche highly to out-of-town visitors as one of Louisville’s best, with Latino flair that proves our city’s exciting culinary scene is about much more than fried chicken, “Southern” fare and Hot Browns.”
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 in 2010 and 2011. John Mariani of 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." In 2011, Lamas won the title of Extreme Chef on the hit Food Network show where he created a wedding menu with $99 worth of ingredients from a 99 cent store. Seviche was named one of “ten great places for Latin flavor and flair” by in 2009, and this accolade was followed by a feature on Latina.com that named Lamas as a “leader of the Latin food revolution” alongside chefs like Douglas Rodriguez and Jose Garces in 2010. and have also showcased Lamas’ talent.
In addition to his commitment to 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. As a celebrity chef during the event, Lamas was showcased in an Iron Chef style challenge with Top Chef alumni Bryan Voltaggio, Casey Thompson and Carla Hall and was recognized with the “Flavor and Spice” award.
Lamas is very active on the food festival circuit, participating in the Taste of Derby in 2010 and 2011 alongside such celebrity chefs as Michelle Bernstein, Tory McPhail and Kent Rathbun, 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 and will appear at the BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival and the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival in 2012.