Born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, Tony Conte followed his passion to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. He spent the early part of his career honing his skills close to home at Sole e Luna Ristorante in Westport and then advanced to the position of Executive Sous Chef for the Greenwich Country Club and the Belmont Country Club in Belmont, Massachusetts.
Conte soaked up the nuances of fine dining as Chef de Partie at JoJo, a contemporary French restaurant owned by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, before going on to the position of executive chef and co-owner of Pesce in Branford, Connecticut. During his tenure, the restaurant earned Connecticut Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant 2002” and Taste of Nation’s “Golden Fork Award” Best Food in Show 2001. Conte joined Jean Georges in 2003, responsible for menu innovation, research and development, product management, assessment and culinary training, as well as purchasing and food costs. As Executive Sous Chef of Jean Georges, Conte worked closely with Vongerichten and adopted the concept of simplicity from his mentor.
At The Oval Room, Conte applies the refined sensibility of his mentor in his daring and composed dishes, matching unlikely ingredients like horseradish and beetroot in his Baby Beet Salad for a successful burst of clean flavor.