Know Your Chef: Tony Marciante of Chef Tony’s in Bethesda

Just as knowing your farmer helps you know your food, so does knowing your chef. Across the United States farm-to-table restaurants are pushing the food movement forward, supporting local small-scale farmers, and meeting the growing demands of conscious consumers. Chef Tony Marciante of Chef Tony’s FRESH Seafood Restaurant is embracing the farm-to-table movement as much as possible. According to their website, “At Chef Tony’s, we believe restaurants, above food and drink, are a catalyst for human connection.” And although there are still significant obstacles facing farm-to-table restaurants, Chef Tony believes sourcing locally shows care for the product and concern for the local economy.
Name: Chef Tony Marciante
Restaurant: Chef Tony's FRESH Seafood
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Products: Seafood, Mediterranean, Tapas, and more
Know Your Chef: Tony Marciante of Chef Tony’s in Bethesda
Something unique, or your favorite thing, about your restaurant:
We are about connecting over great food, and we have a lot of clients that really enjoy our vibe.

How did you get into the restaurant business?
I had a "vision" that I was sitting down after a long night cooking in an old school Italian type place with the red and white checkered tablecloths. My friends were with me, and we were about to eat a great meal together. It was a really nice feeling, and so I figured why not try out this restaurant "thing"...29 years later, still involved. :)

Why is sourcing from local farms important to you?
Let it be known first, I do what I can do. It's not everything by far, but when I can buy local, I certainly do. I think it shows a care for the end product, it shows concern for the local economy and for others that give a crap about what they are making. It's good energy.

What do you think is the largest problem facing the farm to table movement?
Communication and pricing. Pricing not the major one, I actually think the operational component is the biggest issue. Getting both "sides" to break away from operations to actually do the commerce, that's a problem. Farmers are busy running their farms and Chefs are busy with 1000 things in their restaurant. Getting both of them on the same page is an issue I think...

What do you want consumers to know about the farm to table movement?
As it takes a lot of extra work and cost, it WILL be reflected in availability and cost of the final dish. The restaurant industry is already tight, adding 2-3x the cost to an ingredient has to be made up somewhere.

What do you eat for breakfast?
Coffee usually... at least 20 ounces. Eggs and bacon if I eat early food.
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