On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Eunice executive chef Drake Leonards and sous chef Daniel Blue join CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss the Cajun-Creole brasserie they're opening in Greenway Plaza. The conversation begins with both chefs sharing their paths to the restaurant industry, including their careers with New Orleans-based restaurant group BRG Hospitality, the company behind Eunice.
Blue, whose resume includes stints at both Feast and Hunky Dory, has strong ties to Houston, but Leonards is new to the city. He explains that he's spent the last year meeting other members of the chef community and discovering that "I haven't met a fajitas that I didn't like."
The restaurant takes its name from Leonards' home town, a small agricultural community in central Louisiana. Sandler asks Leonards how it inspired the restaurant.
We always had great food on our table. The table was really full, not because people had tons of money, but because people in that community are really great cooks. In the springtime, we had access to plenty of crawfish and rice. In the fall, everyone hunted. We duck hunted, we dove hunted, we teal hunted. Late into the winter we had venison
For me, it's not just about the food we grew up with, it's about the way we grew up. People were always generous, no matter if you have a lot or not, people were always generous with their time, their food, and always wanted to cook for you, to feed you. That's the way I grew up. It's what I hope this restaurant means to people. We can go there and get a really nice meal, the food is really fresh, prepared really well, and also that the hospitality is just welcoming and people feel it is an extension of our home.
Prior to the chefs joining the show, Sandler and co-host Linda Salinas discuss the news of the week. Their topics include Urban Harvest's decision to relocate its weekly farmers market to St. John's School, the departure of David and Michael Cordua from Cordua Restaurants, the impending shutter of Del Frisco's Grille, and Postino's expansion to Montrose. In the restaurants of the week segment, the duo share details of their visits to One Fifth Mediterranean and Flower Child.
Salinas also mentions that she's working with Urban Harvest on an event called Cultivated Cocktails that will feature the bartending talents of Kristine Nguyen (Nancy's Hustle), Sarah Keck (Coltivare), and Josh Alden (Mongoose versus Cobra). Get more information and purchase tickets here.