Antonia Armenta-Miller, known affectionately to friends as Anto, wears many hats. Sometimes she stacks two or three on top of one another at once. Racecar driver. Eagle Medicine Woman. Motorcycle badass. If often seems as if Anto lives ten lives at once – a beautiful turbulent existence that reflects her bombastic free spirit. But what has always buoyed that spirit is her identity as a chef – a celebrity chef, if you talk to those that know her best. Cooking is what she was born to do.
Anto and husband Brian settled in Sheridan County a few years ago, and quickly established themselves as purveyors of one of Wyoming’s finest culinary experiences, whether that was by way of their Bonafide Food Truck, or their catering business. Ask her why they work so hard to run this operation, among a handful of other side gigs that would fill a 50-hour day, and Anto will offer a simple explanation. She loves to do it. She loves the opportunity to run her own business, surrounded by family and friends. She loves the community, and the sense of fellowship that helps to prop people up when times are tough. And she loves the grind, the challenge, the thrill of putting everything on the line to succeed on her own terms.
For these reasons and more, we are proud to showcase Sheridan’s celebrity chef Antonia Armenta-Miller as one of our Women of Sheridan, Wyo. for 2021.
Chefs have claimed that they cook with love since salt was added to water, but how many of them can say it and mean it? How many honestly believe that this simple tenant is what drives everything they do? With Anto this is crystal clear. Food may be her business and her passion, but what it really does is serve as an introduction to her character. She is warm and friendly and is always quick with a smile; she doesn’t have to know your name to welcome you to town, whether you’re picking up lunch from Bonafide or passing by on the street. Her food is a way to get you through the door, and what a damn good entrance it makes.
Think of all the culinary buzzwords you know. Artisanal. Handcrafted. Fresh. Local. They’re meaningless unless the food they’re describing tastes good. Sink your teeth into a bombass burrito, a street taco, or a signature donut, and you’ll come to understand that there’s only one term that can properly do them justice.
Authentic, genuine culinary bliss. If you’re reading this, and you’re from within 100 miles of Sheridan County, we’re not telling you anything you don’t already know.
Anto has become something of a local legend. Bonafide, in all its forms, is a presence at most of the major events on Sheridan’s calendar. She has been at the forefront of the surge of Wyoming’s food truck scene – keep in mind that this is a state in which winter lasts 16 months out of the year – but there have been times when she has set down her knives and traded her chef’s whites for coats of a different kind. Not because she lost her passion for cooking, but because she has always aspired to be defined by who she is, and not what she does. Some days Anto is the Evenstar Motovangelist, on the road and preaching the spiritual moto gospel as she endeavors to empower other women by running down their fears in the pursuit of an authentic, happy life. If only we could all be so bold.
That is part of the reason that Anto refuses to open a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant (despite a cacophony of calls from the local populace for her to do just that). A life on wheels allows her to spread her wings, so to speak, when and where she wants to. The next time you see Anto and Brian’s flashy truck roll by, toss a smile and a wave in their direction. What you’re watching roll by is someone living out their dreams.
For more information on Bonafide, visit bonafidefoodlove.com
Click here for Sheridan Travel & Tourism’s YouTube channel and our new feature on Bonafide. Directed by Jeff Shanor and Salvatore Brown. Cinematography by Jeff Shanor and Salvatore Brown. Edited by Jeff Shanor.