On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler catches up with Riel chef-owner Ryan Lachaine. The two discuss Lachaine's experiences opening one of this year's best new restaurants.
Topics include the differences between being a sous chef and an executive chef, how he developed Riel's menu that blends Southern, Asian, Canadian, and Ukranian influences, the role Lachaine's team is playing in shaping Riel's upcoming summer menu, and his aspirations for Riel's future. Those who want an even deeper look at Riel should check out local blog Sleeping With the Chef to see author and photographer Jennifer Caswell's behind-the-scenes photos.
Prior to Lachaine's interview, L'Olivier owner Mary Clarkson joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. Clarkson, who in addition to being a restaurateur is also a practicing attorney, offers her perspective on chef Omar Pereney's lawsuit that seeks to terminate both the non-compete and name and likeness agreements he signed with Peska.
The duo also discuss the news that López Mexican Restaurant will open a second location at Gallery Furniture's location on the Grand Parkway. They share some of their favorite memories of dining at Hunky Dory and Bernadine's, both of which shuttered last week. Then they discuss what style of restaurant might be a fit for the space, and Sandler shares what he's heard about the rumor that State of Grace owner Ford Fry has his eyes on it.
In the restaurants of the week segment, Clarkson and Sandler describe their meal at Chengdu Taste, the white-hot new Sichuan restaurant from Los Angeles that recently opened in Chinatown. Finally, the duo compare and contrast two of the newest arrivals in and around The Heights: King's BierHaus and Heights Bier Garten.
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