By Raiza Giorgi
Chef Anthony Endy was always in the kitchen as a kid, so being around food is where he feels most at home and closest to his family.
“My mom and my grandmother are the best chefs I know, and I learned a lot from them,” Endy said.
The Santa Ynez Valley native has returned home to become the executive chef at the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort. He brings extensive experience, ranging from local Central Coast cafes to a regional franchise, to his new role uniting local sensibilities with elevated culinary approaches.
“In high school my first job was a buser at Los Olivos Cafe. After football practice I would then go to the cafe and eventually worked my way up to serving and then cooking,” he said.
Endy has also worked at Chef Rick’s, the Wine Cask and a second time at the Los Olivos Cafe as executive chef until he got the opportunity to open Rooney’s in Orcutt.
In 2012, Endy signed on as chef partner and manager of culinary development for the Paul Martin’s American Grill brand. He designed menus and managed teams while taking the concept from three locations to 11 by the time he left the company in 2017.
As his culinary expertise diversified throughout his various roles, so has his management style. He sees himself as a leader — not a boss — who strives for greatness and aims to maintain a kitchen atmosphere of constant learning. With Alisal’s many dining venues, he plans to foster cohesion through his values of teamwork, communication and feedback.
“I’m always finding strengths in individuals and building opportunities for everyone,” he says. “The better the team, the better the guest experience, so I’m constantly pushing us to the next level.”
Endy aims to combine the essence of California cuisine with the depth of flavor and heartiness of Western ranch cooking. He plans to achieve this using locally sourced ingredients at their peak and is working with a local farm to grow fruits and vegetables especially for Alisal.
The new menu will include vegan and vegetarian options, and a farm-to-table program with cooking classes and hands-on guest workshops that will enhance the guest experience.
“Being able to grow up in the best wine country and the best area for culinary arts was to my advantage. We have so many amazing styles of cooking and I, like most others in the area, grew up on Santa Maria style cooking. That has taken me to places I’ve never dreamed and so thankful, but I always knew I wanted to come home,” Endy said.