We’re delighted to have Chef Anthony (Tony) Lusiak on board in our Louisville location. He’s experienced, naturally talented and an essential part of our team. He joined Louisville a few months ago, at the same time as General Manager Thad Mattingly (who we blogged about previously).
Tony trained at one of the nation’s top culinary schools, The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. He took sous chef positions in Philadelphia before moving to Louisville in 2004 to open up a neighbor restaurant to us, Maker’s Mark Bourbon House and Lounge at Fourth Street Live! He worked at Ruth’s Chris after that, and then one of Louisville’s most interesting new restaurants, Doc Crow’s, serving as executive chef at all three restaurants.
Tony tells us he knew early on that he wanted to be a chef. Both of his parents were avid cooks and he loved helping them. He got his first restaurant job at 16 at small, locally owned restaurant in Corry, Pa., which is south of Erie, Pa. That first taste of restaurant work sold him on the business, and he’s never looked back.
But now he’s settled in Louisville, and he likes it, although he finds it hard to define exactly what attracts him to Derby City. “I don’t know what I like about it,” Tony says. “I do know I like it. It definitely has a diverse mix of restaurants and different cuisines that are always interesting. It’s good for a city this size. All the chefs are pretty close when they get together for events. It’s a small community for chefs.”
Eddie Merlot’s holds a lot of appeal for Tony because he likes a high-end environment. “I like getting back into the upscale market, the great quality steaks, and the fact that we butcher in house,” Tony says. “Not a lot of places do that anymore. This is a great location and has been well-received by the downtown community.”
His favorite main course on the menu is the Wagyu ribeye (great choice!) and for side dishes, he likes the Brussels sprouts and lobster macaroni and cheese. And for dessert? That wonderful classic, creme brulee. He appreciates the difficulty of making it and simply enjoys eating it. “Crème brulee is tricky not to overcook the custard,” Tony tells us.
We’re delighted to have Tony with us. If you happen to see him at Eddie Merlot’s, say hi!