An Interview with Rolando Anoceto, Restaurant Chef of the Local Table
“I want my food to please all the senses with texture, aroma, color, and dimension in flavors,” says Chef Rolando Anoceto, Chef of Willow Valley’s Local Table Restaurant in the Clubhouse. “I like variety, to push the envelope, to change things.”
The veteran fine dining chef started cooking at age 16 in his hometown of West Palm Beach, Florida. He moved to Lancaster in 2009 where his food has starred at various local fine dining experiences, including The Belvedere Inn, Gibraltar, Penn Square Grille, and the Railroad House Inn.
The richness and variety of Lancaster County produce has been a catalyst for Chef Roly’s creativity, as he notes our regional produce is entirely different than what was available in Florida. Chef Roly describes his cooking style as seasonal and local. “There’s a ying and yang coming together,” he says.
Preferring non-GMO, organic Amish produce from Lancaster County Farm Fresh Co-op, Chef Roly crafts with a French technique, fused with what he feels passionate about from his Cuban American heritage.
“My experience comes from great teachers,” he notes. Chef Roly has had the privilege to train with culinary experts including Chef Carl Vitale of Lancaster as well as Anthony DePalma and Rene Michelena, both of whom trained under the late Chef Charlie Trotter from Chicago.
“I surround myself with people who love food,” Chef Roly says. “The staff here is amazing, front to back. We work well together.” He also has enjoyed getting to know the residents of Willow Valley. “The guests at Local Table are so interesting. They’re cultured, well-travelled, good people with stories to tell.”
Lancaster County has already treated this creative cook to at least one unique local experience. Recently, he was invited to put down his whisk and carving knife in exchange for a bat and glove when he got to practice with the Lancaster Barnstormers! He treated the team in return by preparing Cuban sandwiches, loaded onto bread he baked from scratch.
Local Table guests can look forward to a scrumptious holiday menu as the seasons change. In cooperation with sommelier Chris Trendler, Chef Roly is planning a heritage breed Thanksgiving turkey roulade, and for Christmas, eggnog bread pudding with rosemary custard and rainbow sprinkle cookie crumbles. Chef Roly lives with his wife and 4-year-old son; they are expecting a new addition in January.