San Antonio fine dining chef shoots for the moon with home dining experience
Sure, getting gussied up and enjoying a fine dining experience is sometimes fun. Other days, it's hard to imagine getting out of Crocs. But even on lazy days, life is too short to tear open a Michelina's Alfredo bowl and watch reruns of CSI: Miami.
Luckily, an accomplished San Antonio chef is now making it possible to enjoy squishy footwear while noshing on elevated cuisine. Robert Cantu, formerly of The Moon's Daughters, has launched Nomad Chef — a catering company specializing in customized tasting dinners held in the comforts of one's own home.
Prior to his stint as executive chef of downtown's Thompson Hotel, Cantu built an illustrious CV. A San Antonio native, he studied at the Texas Culinary Academy in Austin before working at Barton Creek Hill Country Resort. Later travels brought him to Dean Fearing's legendary Mansion on Turtle Creek and David Burke's Grand Tavern in St. Louis, Missouri.
The career familiarized Cantu with a wide variety of cuisines, something he hopes to highlight with Nomad Chef.
"I take a whimsical approach to modern American and international cuisine, and I think this format lends itself best to the high level of detail and creativity that I'm wanting to showcase," Cantu explains via a release.
Sample menus on his website include a Turkish tasting centered around lamb shank tagine and a conceptual scent dinner exploring the aromas of the land and sea. Although many of his dishes dazzle with technique, he isn't afraid to incorporate his River City roots — serving up treats like elotes with Cheetos and a koji aioli and melon mezcal paletas.
Now out on his own, Cantu sees Nomad Chef as a preamble of sorts. The chef is currently buttoning down all the details for a future restaurant.
"The idea is to bring to San Antonio an omakase-style experience in the privacy of their own homes," says Cantu, "that is until I get a brick and mortar."