|“I think of myself first and foremost as a
baker and a chef, a kind of mad-scientist-
meets-the-Galloping-Gourmet. But no matter what the culinary project, I always savor the beauty of a meal—preparing and enjoying it—and how sensual that can be; that’s what separates us human beings from the rest of the creatures on the planet.”
|With a background that incorporates food styling; years of experience as a pastry chef, wedding cake designer and private chef; and management, corporate training, and service positions with numerous hospitality companies, there’s very little in the food world that Anthony Leberto hasn’t done.“My earliest memory of food and cooking was sitting on my grandmother’s lap cleaning fava beans,” Anthony recalls. “The kitchen was always an inviting nurturing habitat for me.”Though his interest in cooking and food never waned, Anthony enrolled in Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of journalism in 1983. Upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco, where he was influenced by the Bay Area’s burgeoning and innovative culinary movement (thanks to luminaries such as Alice Waters, Judi Rodgers, Bradley Ogden, and Cindy Pawlcyn).
Anthony soon began getting his hands dirty in the pastry kitchen at Ironwood Café under the tutelage of Ann Belden. A variety of pastry and culinary jobs ensued, ranging from pastry chef at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio to managing partner of La Paloma Bakery Cafe in Eureka Valley, San Francisco. Anthony soon became known for his wedding and specialty cakes, which fused classic American elements such as traditional layer cakes and butter cream with the old world sophistication of fruit-filled cakes finished with fondant and marzipan.
With his unwavering eye and appreciation of form, color, and design, entry into the world of food styling proved easy. While in the Bay Area, he prepared and styled a wide range of foods for editorial and advertising clients, including Foote, Cone & Belding Advertising, Sunset Publications and Weldon Owen.
Convinced that his career in the culinary arts could be furthered on the East Coast, Anthony returned to New York to pursue new opportunities that intertwined his love for food, publishing, and food styling.As an independent stylist back in NYC, his client roster included The Food Network, Vogue, Allure, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Oprah Magazine, New York magazine, Time Out New York, People, and Kitchen Aid.
Anthony was the food stylist for two book projects: Michael White’s 2006 title The Fiamma Cookbook and the Hamptons Diet Book(both published by John Wiley & Sons). In addition to building his growing wedding cake, fine pastry and catering venture and working as a private chef, Anthony is an emerging celebrity chef—guest starring in season 6 of PBS’s Katie Brown Workshop in 2011, and winning the well-deserved title of Sweet Geniusin 2012 on season 2 of the Food Network’s show of the same name, hosted by Chef Ron Ben-Israel.Anthony Leberto lives in Tribeca, New York.