richard Knight Returns

He's back! Acclaimed local chef takes the reigns at popular Heights restaurant

He's back! Acclaimed local chef takes the reigns at Heights restaurant

Richard Knight Alli Jarrett Harold's
Richard Knight and Alli Jarrett. Courtesy photo
Harold's Indian crawfish
Indian crawfish, available in Harold's Tap Room.  Courtesy photo
Harold's salad royale
Salad Royale with Pimms champagne vinaigrette  Courtesy photo
Richard Knight Alli Jarrett Harold's
Harold's Indian crawfish
Harold's salad royale

A popular restaurant in The Heights has a new executive chef. 

Harold's Restaurant and Tap Room, the two-story restaurant on 19th Street known for its Southern-inspired cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients, announced on March 1 that Richard Knight is its new executive chef. Knight replaces the restaurant's original chef Antoine Ware, who has left to pursue other opportunities, according to the restaurant.

Known for both his work at Feast, the Montrose restaurant centered on nose-to-tail cooking, and Hunky Dory, the acclaimed English tavern that closed after a year-and-a-half of operations, Knight has earned acclaim for his creative preparations and intriguing flavors, including James Beard semifinalist nominations in 2009 and 2010. Since departing Hunky Dory last year, Knight has been hosting pop-ups and developing a video series titled Show Us Your Goods with his wife Carrie Jean Knight. As he explains in a press release announcing the move, the English-born chef has more in common with Alli Jarrett, Harold's South Carolina-born owner than people might think.

"When Alli and I first sat down we realized that we both were lucky enough to grow up near the coast, with many memories of pulling mussels from the rocks, crabbing, fishing and general shenanigans, resulting in wonderful family feasts fresh from the ocean," Knight said. "We both also share a great passion for supporting our farmers and community, trying always to use as much locally grown and raised product as we can and moving with the seasons. We are both looking forward to working together and coming up with an exciting culinary mix drawn from both of our cultural backgrounds.”

Jarrett, who said she wishes Ware "nothing but happiness and great success" in his future endeavors, echoed Knight's remarks. "We are committed to providing our guests with delicious Southern fare from 'near and far' as well as the utmost Southern hospitality.  Chef Richard will broaden what we do and we are delighted to have him lead our culinary staff."

She adds that popular dishes like cast iron chicken and shrimp and grits will remain, but that Knight will be putting his own spin on the menu over the coming months.

Harold's has evolved quite a bit since it opened in November 2013. Originally names The Heights General Store, the restaurant initially offered a grocery store component on its first floor and a restaurant on the second. Over time, it became a pizzeria before developing the Tap Room pub that opened in 2016. Adding Knight represents another intriguing new opportunity for the restaurant to grow its audience at a time when competition in The Heights has never been stronger.