Hi, my name is Tony Pentecost. I’m a native of the Outer Banks, growing up on Roanoke Island in the town of Manteo. Food was not always a passion of mine. I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps straight out of high school and served my country dutifully for 4 years, including combat duty in Operation Desert Storm. Afterward, I spent a short time in law enforcement, serving my community as a Manteo Police Officer. It was during this time I began moonlighting as a line cook at Big Al’s, a 50’s era diner in Manteo. It was here that I began my culinary journey, learning the basics. Through the years I began to gravitate towards the catering side of things, finding myself serving small parties and intimate gatherings. I found myself to be quite comfortable in other people’s kitchens and found that I enjoyed the conversations with people I didn’t know.
Catering to small groups in a strange home can be challenging. Catering companies tend to travel with all the equipment and supplies that they need. My method is somewhat different. I travel light, bringing the food and my personal supplies. The challenge(s) comes with potential equipment shortcomings, ie, the oven isn’t working, lack of pots and pans, lack of serving platters, not enough plates, forks spoons! The ability to improvise is critical. This is where my strength lies. And I’ve never fallen short. Feeding people and making them smile is what I do. I provide an experience. Anyone can come in a just cook. It’s the ability to engage and get in on a personal level that makes the difference.
When asked about my cooking style, I would say I’m a blend of many different styles. Over the years, I have added to my repertoire. This allows for a great degree of flexibility when creating menus and meeting my customer’s culinary expectations. This flexibility is reflected in the presentation as well. Whether it be a beautifully displayed Charcuterie and cheese platter, to the elegant plated Surf & Turf, or a casually displayed family-style dinner. I learned from a great chef years ago about the phrase “The first bite is taken with your eyes”. This is so true. That little bit of extra care and attention makes the difference between an average meal and one that is exceptional.