Cincinnati Chefs to Watch in 2020: Anthony Sitek

Photograph by Bird and Rose Photography

Husband-and-wife duo chef Anthony Sitek and Haley Nutter-Sitek created buzz in the downtown restaurant scene with their first restaurant Crown Republic Gastropub and its casual, homey eats with hints of flair. Now they’re branching out with their sophomore restaurant, boutique steakhouse Losanti, where they serve high-quality steaks that don’t break the bank, along with refined spins on comfort food classics. We caught up with Anthony to talk about how he stays inspired in the kitchen and what’s next for Losanti.

Years in the industry:
14

Signature dish:
“All the pastas at both locations. I wouldn’t say one pasta in particular, but the dough is what makes it so good.”

Favorite cooking technique:
Sautéing

Most underrated tool in the kitchen:
“It might sound weird, but a can opener [laughing]. Our can opener broke last week at Losanti, and it was a nightmare. It’s one of those things you don’t even think about.”

Most underrated skill in the kitchen:
“Knowing what ingredients are. Having staff who knows and understands the products you’re working with and can differentiate [between them].”

How do you challenge yourself?
“Exploring what other people are doing in the city and in other cities, seeing what trends are taking place, and looking at how we can keep evolving instead of standing still. We want to keep moving forward. The only way that’s possible is by treating our staff like family and letting them be a part of creating it.”

What do you like to cook for your family at home?
“We eat out a lot, probably every meal. But if we are going to cook at home, we’re doing grilled pizzas, chicken parm, simple dishes. We have a Weber grill we can put the pizza stone on, and it’s like a little pizza oven. That’s been the thing lately.”

Where do you like to take your family to dinner?
“We don’t like to go to the same place every time. But one of the staples we go to as a family is Great Tang in West Chester. They do dim sum on Sundays—that’s when we go—and the kids love it.”

Where do you find inspiration?
“Every food magazine possible. And I like to take little trips whenever possible to Chicago, New York, or Miami—all places I’ve worked—and see what people I know are doing and see what people I grew up in the industry watching are doing.”

Why do you love what you do?
“It’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, so I’ve never really thought about doing anything else. You’re creating something for a complete stranger every time. Just getting the satisfaction of someone saying it’s the best thing they ever ate and having a big smile on their face as they walk out the door makes it all worth it.”

What’s ahead?
“We’re going to open Monday nights at Losanti, most likely starting in late February. There’s always more in the works. I grew up in New Jersey, so eventually I would like to bring a tomato pie–style [pizza place] here. But right now, we’re adding that extra night, and once the patio opens this spring we’re going to do a Saturday/Sunday brunch.”

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