If there's one thing we've learned since CultureMap launched seven years ago, it's that Houstonians are crazy about dining out. We want to be the first to know about hot new restaurants, under-the-radar gems, and amazing new chefs, as well as what eateries didn't quite make it and what their replacements will be.
Now, in addition to comprehensive, up-to-the-minute online coverage of the Houston dining scene on the pages of CultureMap, there's a new podcast helmed by ace CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler.
"What's Eric Eating?" launches this week with a lively discussion about all things food-related. The podcast, which runs approximately one hour, is produced by Gow Communications, the parent company of CultureMap.
Each show features three segments. News of the Week recaps CultureMap's recent restaurant coverage; Restaurant of the Week recounts a new eatery that Sandler has visited, and an in-depth interview follows with a leading figure (or figures) on the Houston culinary scene. Each week Sandler will be joined by a co-host with a tie to the restaurant community who will participate in the conversation for all three segments.
"I frequently conduct interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, but only a few sentences might make their way into an article," Sandler says. "The podcast gives these interviews a home and provides listeners with the opportunity to hear in-depth opinions from people who I think are interesting."
Listen to the first episode via this player:
For the first episode, Nathan Ketcham, a restaurant consultant and the former owner of South American steakhouse Samba Grille, serves as guest host, analyzing the winners of the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, and discussing such hot topics as Cane Rosso's decision to hire chef Jonathan Jones and the announcement that a New Orleans steakhouse will open in the former Triniti space.
Also, Lee Ellis and Jim Mills, the partners in Cherry Pie Hospitality, which operates such acclaimed restaurants as Tastemaker Awards Best New Restaurant State Fare, Pi Pizza, and Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts, discuss how they developed the concept for Star Fish, their newly opened seafood restaurant, what comes next for the company, and some of their favorite under-the-radar restaurants.
"I really enjoy listening to podcasts like Special Sauce with Ed Levine and the Eater Upsell. Hopefully, the show will reach that level of quality as I make the transition from radio guest to host," Sandler says. "If we manage to break a little news on the show every now and then, that would be even better."