Antonio “Tony Bobo” Llizowas born in New Jersey to Cuban parents in exile. Shortly after moving to Miami, Florida when he was 6, his parents opened a little Cuban coffee and sandwich shop, Los Bobos Cafeteria. As a family run business with demanding hours, most of Tony’s time, growing up, was spent at the cafeteria. This instilled Cuban heritage to his very core.
His first experiences in the kitchen were at the cafeteria, helping his mom with prep work, in the early mornings. He cherished this quiet, prep time with his mom and dad because of the wealth of information they shared with him. It was during this time that he would begin to learn, not only his family's recipes, but the grassroots of their culture through food. Tony began to understand every aspect of Cuban cuisine: the affect of the seasons on produce; the reason a specific cut of meat is used for a specific recipe; how to make use of leftovers, both raw and cooked; the way diverse cultures influenced and transformed individual towns and homes within Cuba to create, collectively, what is known today as Cuban cuisine.
As the decades passed, Tony grew with the cafeteria. Because of Tony’s dad’s ability to believe in him and letting him make life and business choices, the small sandwich and coffee shop, Los bobos Cafeteria, became a successful eatery now serving a variety of Cuban dishes. And, after a period of higher education, Tony decided to return to Los Bobos and reconnect with himself.
Tony has since continued to cater to a vast array of people from all walks of life, small and intimate to very large scale celebrity events. When asked, What’s your secret to keeping Los Bobos, “the shop” as he calls it, successful? The answer is very simple. “To keep things Authentic and true to my Cuban culture, grandma’s kitchen style, while maintaining the family-like throwback ambiance I grew up with”.
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