I have a confession. And confessions come pretty easy to a lot of food writers. I should know, since I am one. For the most part that’s our job; tell people what’s good on the menu, praise the establishment on a whole variety of levels, or rip the place to shreds with some clever verbiage aimed at bringing the focused eatery to its collective knees. But my confession is a wholehearted, well-meaning attempt at drawing the reader into the next 800 or so words. And it goes like this:
I like Anthony Dalupan.
I like that he owns one of the best restaurants in Windsor. I like that he has a work ethic most would cringe at and I like that he and his wife, Kathleen Hart, welcomed me into their successful restaurant and gave me an insiders perspective on what makes their dining establishment one of the most talked about places in town.
Anthony’s tale is not unfamiliar to those making a living in a kitchen. Early on he just wasn’t sure he wanted to commit to that life style. He did it to make ends meet while in university and along the way as a means to a paycheck. It wasn’t until he, like so many in their twenties, headed to the west coast that his experience became a bit different than the majority of those lost souls that travel down that well-worn path to B.C. thinking that the grass is greener on the west side.
With his recently acquired degree in business from the University of Windsor, he figured he’d make a new life for himself. Little did he know there was little work in his chosen field. So there he was, back in a kitchen, making ends meetâ€¦.again. He landed a job with Granville Entertainment and within a short period of time he was offered the Head Chef position. Anthony was now at a crossroads. Should he take the position and pursue the culinary lifestyle or maintain his original reasons for making this move in the first place?
He chose food.
At this point he decided that some formal training would be in order to be taken seriously in this business. He signed up for the very intensive 6 month Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Program at the illustrious Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts where he received, what he calls, some ‘hard ass training’. It’s either sink or swim with these folks. After the allotted time, the institute offers %100 placement. Their chefs, obviously, are in high demand.
Fast forward a few years and here we are, back in Windsor.
Having aimed and hit his mark with the tapas styled restaurant Three…A Tasting Bar, Anthony and Kathleen, along with their sous chef Jennifer Hillis, decided to get into the bidding game for a new restaurant at the Art Gallery of Windsor. Few people know that there were two other restaurateurs also in the running for the highly sought after piece of real estate. In the end the husband and wife combo reined supreme and Bamboo was born.
Based on the principal that all the chefs in the kitchen have aspirations to advance, Anthony provides them with the tools they’ll need to cut it in the culinary world.
“I’ve got a student that’s heading off to the same school I went to in a little bit,” says Anthony.
I asked if he’d be welcomed back when he finishes the program.
“Why would he want to? He’ll have every opportunity to travel the world and work where ever he likes!”
Since opening in the Art Gallery the restaurant has been enjoying plenty of favorable reviews, not only in print, but also by word of mouth and that is something Anthony has seen as the best promotion money can’t buy. His catering business is flourishing and the restaurant keeps a steady booking. Bamboo shows no signs of retreat.
We ended up chatting for some time about our city and the culinary offerings right at our doorstep, all the while enjoying a couple of beers before our server brings out our first offering. I should make it known that Anthony left very simple instructions with the kitchen: “Send out 3 plates, make ’em good.”
First was the beautiful Avocado Bam Bleu. A spinach salad served with healthy portions of pears, avocados and blue cheese with a champagne vinaigrette.
Next up were the Queso Prawn en Roca, which translates into prawns on the rocks. It’s a very artistic creation with the cooked prawns settled on top a structure of deep fried noodles. Very pleasing to both palate and eye.
Last was the very original Venison Verano. Two succulent venison chops done medium rare and served with the most fantastic sauce made of red wine and chocolate. I realize this sounds odd, but trust me, it’s amazing!
At the end of our evening Anthony extended a handshake and an invitation to return sometime soon. I assured him that wouldn’t be a problem.
With all the restaurants in Windsor vying for precious dollars to circulate into their respected dining venues, I see Bamboo offering something special to attract that needed commodity. Forget the obvious reasons, such as it’s conveniently located inside the Art Gallery and the view of the Detroit skyline is incredible, but try Bamboo on my reassurance that the people involved have their stuff together. Period.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jamie writes for pure enjoyment. He has had articles in publications throughout Windsor/Essex County. While music and photography are his passions, food ranks a close fourth to alcohol. A self described carnivore and self admitted traveler, he spends his days carving meat and thinking about writing.