Chef Q&A: Bowery Palm Beach's Executive Chef Anthony Theocaropoulos
Chef’s Name: Anthony Theocaropoulos
Title: Executive Chef
Hometown: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Favorite Hidden Gem in Palm Beach: Le Macaron CityPlace
Favorite band/musician: Led Zeppelin
Current restaurant: Bowery Coastal
Brief Description: Located in vibrant CityPlace in the heart of West Palm Beach, Bowery Palm Beach has an intimate charm with performance venue vibes that will draw you in for an evening of live music, libations, and fresh coastal cuisine.
Hours of operation: 11 AM - 2 AM
Address: 550 S Rosemary Ave, WPB FL 33401
1) Tell us about yourself. How did you shape your culinary career, starting from your first job in the F&B industry to where you are now?
My father owned Greek diners in NYC, so I grew up in the restaurant industry and lived off of delicacies like Cheeseburger Deluxe’. I graduated with a Florida Culinary degree from Lincoln Culinary in 2001. I started my career as a breakfast Chef at Cafe Boulud, a restaurant at the Brazilian Court on Palm Beach Island. I helped them with their catering as well and learned a lot of useful tools. I moved back to NYC in 2004 to work under Chef Mario Batali as a Garde Manager. By the end of my time in the city, I left a role as Executive Chef for Eataly to open Fleur, a French restaurant in hotel Setai where I was a Sous Chef. I saved money to open my own place in Brooklyn, called Cooklyn in 2013, and sold it in 2016 to move back to Florida. The biggest factor in relocating down south was my mother who retired six months ago, I was approached by Joe and Karena (Bowery’s Owners) to help on their new venture. As soon as we met I knew it was a good match and was thrilled about their concept, accommodations and they are all around beautiful people.
2) Who was your greatest cooking influence?
Mario Batali, I grew up watching his television show and was inspired by his Italian cooking.
3) What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Espellete Pepper, I love seasoning.
4) Tell us about your restaurant. What was the inspiration behind both the restaurant and its menu?
Our space is very approachable from the establishment, environment and overall feeling. We are not just a bar with food, we have a traditional continental flare.
5) What is your culinary “philosophy” and how are you expressing that at this restaurant?
I cook things I like to eat myself, and plates people might not necessarily order. People don’t know what they like until they try it, and I have a passion for taking unordinary ingredients and turning them into approachable and casual.
6) When dining at your restaurant, what type of guest experience do you hope to evoke?
It’s not just about the food, it’s a vibrant experience starting with the drinks to our friendly staff and service team.
7) If a chef colleague visited your restaurant, what’s your idea of the perfect meal to recommend to him/her?
It would have to be between the Octopus or Lobster Mac n’ Cheese.
8) Why is your restaurant a “must-try” for visitors of The Palm Beaches?
We don’t serve your everyday “bar food,” our ingredients are fresh and properly executed.
9) What are some of your favorite restaurants in The Palm Beaches?
Sushi at Echo. The Dragon Roll and Spider Roll are amazing.
10) What inspired one of your favorite dishes? What are the customer’s reactions?
My father inspired my octopus plate. I always remember him grilling it at family barbecues, and I would stand on a milk crate and watch him. The customer’s response is: “One of the best I’ve had.” “I’ve been to Greece, Spain, all over Europe and it’s the greatest I’ve had.” “Love how tender and crisp it is.”