Rising Star Chef Lanny Lancarte of Lanny's Alta Cocina Mexicana - Biography

Fort Worth, TX

November 2011

Fort Worth native Chef Lanny Lancarte grew up in a family of restaurateurs, doing the dishes and helping with the prep as a kid. He knew early on that his calling was in the industry and attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park to sharpen his skills and develop his already established food knowledge. Knowing that he wanted to open his own restaurant, Lancarte majored in business and Spanish at Texas Christian University. While in school he took the opportunity to work with Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless and learn as much as possible from them. He saw Mexico and its ingredients and cuisine in a new light while taking part in several culinary tours of Mexico. He followed up by completing his externship with Bayless at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago.

After returning home from culinary school and his brief stint in Bayless’s kitchen, Lancarte took a huge risk and decided to forego climbing the ranks in other chefs’ kitchens by opening his own. He began his first fledgling dining room within the patio gardens of his family’s established restaurant where he researched and developed dishes in preparation for opening his dream restaurant.

In July 2005, he finished construction on the small, converted house and opened Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana in the Museum District, a name that delivers on its promise. With a delicate hand, Lancarte layers the flavors of jalapeno with foie gras and lobster in a transparent lobster raviolo that emphasizes technical precision. The control Lanny shows when saucing creates a stunning presentation but flavor always steals the show. Only a month after his opening Lancarte was invited to the James Beard House to host a dinner and share his inventive, hybrid cuisine of Mexican ingredients approached with a modern European sensibility. And two years later, Lancarte won a StarChefs.com 2007 Dallas Risings Stars Award.