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Under the Toque ~ Anthony Vero

So what step does a guy from New York with a background in construction take next in his career path? He buys a restaurant in North Myrtle Beach.

At least that’s what Anthony Vero did nearly four years ago when he migrated to the Grand Strand for a fresh-start detour in life and purchased Paradise Sushi Bar. “I had some friends down here and would come here on vacation,” says Vero, 28. “It’s kind of an interesting story. I was in a weird point in life.”

Not only did he step outside the box when becoming a restaurant owner, but he took over the position of head chef last year with no prior training. Vero says one of the former chefs at Paradise with 10 years’ experience took him under his wing. He started rolling sushi three years ago on a consistent basis and now does a little bit of everything. Fresh fish, which is filleted in-house, is flown in twice a week. “I like being in direct contact with my customers so I can always be up to date with their likes and dislikes,” says Vero.

Vero certainly pleases many palates at Paradise, with a menu bursting with more than 150 types of sushi rolls, appetizers and a list of hibachi dinners. “We also offer some of the best king crab legs on the beach, as well as great hamburgers and chicken wings for the sushi-scared customer,” he says. “Because everybody has a friend that doesn't like sushi.”

The chef/owner likes to think of his plating as trendy, with a wide array of colors. “And I like to incorporate many different tastes into our menu,” he adds. “That’s one of the greatest things about sushi; you have endless amounts of ingredients you can mix and match with. I think our menu is the most diverse sushi menu in town. We incorporate mangos, almonds and sauces into our rolls instead of traditional sauces. For instance, we make a homemade apple wine sauce that we pair with smoked salmon rolls.”

Working six days a week to run a restaurant and kitchen, plus keep up to date with customer service, doesn’t allow for much down-time, but when Vero does manage to be off-duty, he says he loves to walk his two dogs on the beach. That’s the beauty of moving south from New York to North Myrtle Beach.