June 6, 1963 - May 5, 2021
Anthony Francis Baran passed away suddenly May 5, 2021 at the age 57 in Kingwood, TX. He was born June 6, 1963 to Anna M.Simonds and Francis V. Baran of Auburn, NY. He attended St. Hyacinths Catholic School for elementary school. He was preceded in death by his father in 1971. He moved to Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico in 1975 with his mother and step-father Ernesto Loera to study Spanish. The family moved to Kingwood, TX in 1976 where Tony attended and graduated from Humble High School in 1981. After graduating high school he attended University of Houston where he obtained BA degrees in Political Science and History, and a MA in History of Western Cuisine.
Tony was an award -wining master chef and started working in the restaurant business when he was in high school as a dish washer for Chef Norman Ruhe at Kingwood Country Club where he learned his way around the kitchen and began to cook. He continued working in restaurants while completing his university education and 1986-88 worked for Club Corp Of America in his early career where he became an executive chef. He also became chef for the unique Mayan restaurant of Palacio Tzintzuntzan presenting his new cuisine of Asia Fusion to Houstonians. He took his talents from Houston to Dallas and on to Florida and then California where he became executive chef at Trader Vic’s in the Beverly Hilton and the Coconut Club where he had the honor of working for Merv Griffin. He was honored to prepare cuisine for the Hollywood elite, including President Regan and many prepared offerings for the Golden Globe awards. He was a guest chef for Williams and Sonoma and appeared on the Food Network. He left California to take his talents abroad from 2006 – 2012 and was Executive Chef at The Mercantile Athletic Club in Jakarta, Indonesia; Simple Pleasures in Moscow, Russia and Harrad’s Hotel and Resort in Bali.
He was a published poet and culinary author best known for A Brief Culinary Art History of the Western Chef Avante-Guarde Through the Late 20th Century published in 2014 and Zeus’s 10th Daughter. A chefs Odyssey published in 2016. He was featured in multiple publications including LA Weekly, LA Times, Beverly Press, Dallas Morning News, and Houston Chronicle.
Tony was a devoted son, brother and father. He was preceded in death by his father Francis V. Baran, his grandparents Russell and Anna Simonds, Domicella and Alexander Marullo , his brother Ernest “Ernie” James Loera. He is survived by his mother Anna Simonds Loera, stepfather Ernest 0. Loera, brother Mark Loera of Kingwood, TX and, sons Alexander GivensBaran, Benjamin Givens-Baran, and Tristan Givens-Baran of Los Angeles, CA.
Funeral services were held at Darst Funeral Home in Kingwood, TX. on Saturday May 15, 2021. Burial at Brookside Memorial cemetery in Houston, TX.
Donations can be made in his memory to the Hilton College at the University of Houston:
Conrad N. Hilton College
Hilton University of Houston
4450 University Dr. Rm 227
Houston, TX 77204-3028
There will be a Celebration of Life for Tony on Saturday, May 15th at Darst Funeral Home at 3:00pm with a reception to follow at 4:00pm.
To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.