On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chef Danny Trace joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss his new role overseeing both Potente and Osso & Kristalla, the fine dining and casual Italian restaurants from Astros owner Jim Crane and Reef partner Bill Floyd. After opening quietly shortly before the Super Bowl, the two establishments have garnered more attention thanks to both their proximity to Minute Maid Park and the food Trace is serving.
Trace discusses the food he's serving at Potente as an Italian-style evolution of the Creole food he became known for during his long stint as the executive chef at Brennan's of Houston.
"To me, I'm continuing to do the same things I've done and put my stamp on and am known for," Trace says. "I'm using seasonal products. I'm using all the same purveyors and farmers and fishermen. It's just more Italian-influened, which, Creole and Italian go hand-in-hand. It's kind of easy for me."
Trace also discusses what its been like to be in the middle of the World Series crowds, how he feels about working for Jim Crane, and what he's done to make Osso & Kristalla appealing to diners.
Prior to the interview, local restaurant consultant Nathan Ketcham joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. The two discuss Cafe Annie's new, steak-oriented direction, the official announcement that Feges BBQ is coming to Greenway Plaza in 2018, and note news out of Austin that James Beard Award winners Tyson Cole (Uchi) and Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue) have teamed up on Loro, a new barbecue concept that will blend both chefs' skills.
In the restaurant of the week segment, Ketcham and Sandler discuss their visit to Pokeworks, the rapidly expanding New York City-based chain that opened its first Houston location near the Heights. Sandler also shares his experience trying the omakase at Kukuri; the new sushi restaurant on Washington Avenue is lead by chef Shimao Ishikawa, who comes to Houston from New York City’s Michelin-starred Jewel Bako.