Tony Vento, a longtime chef, puts culinary ideas to work in his offerings at Capt. Frank’s in Boynton Beach. Photo provided
By Faran Fagen
Capt. Frank’s new owner, Tony Vento, has traveled all over the Mediterranean, up and down the East Coast, and as far north as Quebec.
Every step of the way, he’s picked up ingredients for another slice of cuisine. To Vento, each region of the world he’s visited symbolizes a signature sizzle in the market’s style of sautéing.
“I’ve learned different cuisine, cultures and passion to food itself,” said Vento, who became owner of Capt. Frank’s Seafood Market in Boynton Beach in October 2021.
“After working as a chef for the past 23 years, I decided it’s time to take everything I’ve learned and bring it close to home.”
The 44-year-old lives in Boynton Beach with his wife, Diana, and their two young boys. He realized a dream when he took ownership of Capt. Frank’s. Vento graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York City and worked as a chef in that area until he moved to Miami, where he helped open the Ritz-Carlton in South Beach.
From there, he moved to the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach in Manalapan (now Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa).
“I worked with some great leaders and colleagues who I learned a great deal from,” Vento said.
Next, he became a private estate/yacht chef. This is where he met former Frank’s owner Joe Sclafani.
Sclafani and his team catered Vento’s events and charters. The food was a huge hit. Vento sought a way to combine his chef expertise with the warm feeling from Sclafani and his seafood market.
In the early ’90s, Sclafani sold his partnership in a seafood market in Rye, New York, headed to Florida with his family and bought Capt. Frank’s Seafood Market.
A year and a half ago, he sold it to Vento. Sclafani still comes in once a week to pick up fresh seafood.
In his travels, Vento enjoys the cuisine of local chefs who carved a niche in the communities in which they cook. It’s something he’s sought since he took over the fish market at Capt. Frank’s.
“As a chef I celebrate my local chefs with their ideas,” Vento said. “From Chef Judine’s granola, Chef Elio chocolate from Colombia and Chef Jeff’s local smoked fish dips.”
Of course, Vento has brought in some new ideas for locals to treasure. For one, you can come in and create a custom menu —from wine, cheese, caviar, fresh fish and meats to desserts.
One thing that hasn’t changed are the market staples, including the market’s famous stone crabs.
A variety of fresh seafood is available along with groceries selected by Vento that fill the shelves, coolers and freezers surrounding the seafood showcase. Customers get a mouth-watering view of what they might want to pick up for dinner.
The retail and wholesale seafood market does brisk business, with the high product turnover resulting in superior freshness, Vento said.
Vento’s hobbies — besides cooking — include gardening, spending time with family, and traveling.
Capt. Frank’s is open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. It’s at 435 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach. Phone: 561-732-3663.
Back next month
Food writer Jan Norris will return next month. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.