As Head Chef and CEO of Russo’s New York Pizzeria, Anthony Russo’s rise to prominence in the restaurant industry began at a very early age. His passion for cooking and creating unique dining experiences for friends and family began in his grandmother’s kitchen.
As a child, Anthony helped his grandmother roll dough for cannoli, carefully wrapping them around four-inch wooden broomsticks to get the right shape before being cooked. Attention to detail, authenticity and originality have been hallmarks of Anthony’s career as a chef ever since. Following his family’s move from New Jersey to Texas, Anthony honed his culinary skills while working in his parent’s fine dining Italian restaurant in Galveston.
Following in the family footsteps, he earned the chef’s distinction at 18, and subsequently opened his first restaurant, Anthony’s Pizzeria, in Clear Lake, Texas. Anthony later opened two restaurants in Houston, one named Café Anthony and the other named Russo Café Anthony, an upscale Italian restaurant. In 1992, he created a concept in Houston that would ultimately become Russo’s New York Pizzeria, which opened to rave reviews and became a dining sanctuary for a number of transplanted New Yorkers living in Houston who were unable to find authentic New York-style pizza in that city.
Word spread and soon other Houstonians fell in love with Russo’s approach to traditional pizza pies, the quality of ingredients he used and the care with which the product was made. In the two decades since that time, Russo’s pizzeria concept has inspired the launch of a number of successful franchise locations, and more than 30 are projected to open in the next three to five years across both the U.S. and the Middle East. Anthony’s achievements with Russo’s New York Pizzeria led to a new concept, Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, which opened in 2008 and extends the Russo’s experience with a more in-depth Italian menu prepared in authentic coal-fired ovens.
Most recently, the franchise announced its latest concept — an authentic Italian microbrewery. Conceptualized by Chef Anthony, Russo’s New York Italia Pizza Kitchen & Brewery will open the doors to its first location in early 2020. The innovative Pizza Kitchen & Brewery will feature Russo’s infamous Italian menu with pizza and pasta-focused dishes, as well as unique craft beers, brewed in-house.
Chef Anthony has gained recognition and earned praise for his remarkably fresh food and affordable menu options at his restaurants. Preparation of high-quality ingredients and the execution of memorable Italian food consistently turn first-time diners into loyal regulars, and the chef’s commitment to maintaining the freshest products ensures that all customers who walk through the door of any of his restaurants receive the bona fide Russo’s experience.
Photos Courtesy of Russo’s Restaurants