On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chef Brandon Silva joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Degust, his newly opened tasting menu restaurant in Spring Branch. Silva brings a wealth of experience to the project, having worked locally at restaurants such as Uchi, Pesce, and Brasserie 19 as well as staged at restaurants in Chicago and Copenhagen.
Silva draws on his Spanish and Mexican heritage to create Degust's eight-course tasting menu. For example, some courses utilize corn that's ground in-house and put through a traditional nixtamalization process to create masa that becomes tortillas, tostadas, and quesadillas. Many dishes use vegetables and herbs grown either on-site or at the restaurant's urban farm in The Heights.
Sandler asks Silva why he's chosen to serve a tasting menu rather than offer diners a la carte options.
"I think that anyone who wants to tell a story about their cooking and have a really cool and fun, relaxed dinner party, the tasting menu format works well," Silva says. "You get to really see the personable side of the chef and what he's trying to portray with the food. When someone's really happy cooking food, no matter how many courses it is, you can feel the energy and the excitement . . . That's what I think the tasting menu at Degust portrays."
Prior to the interview, blogger Felice Sloan joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: the two new restaurants from Michelin-starred chefs coming to the Museum of Fine Arts; the prospects for Thirteen, James Harden's new restaurant in Midtown; and a couple of recent closings, including 369 Oriental Bistro, one of Sandler's favorite places for Chinese-American food.
In the restaurants of the week segment, the duo share first impressions of chef Justin Turner's two new restaurants in Generation Park, Bocca Italian Kitchen and Lupo Pizzeria. Listen to the episode to hear their take on whether the founder of Bernie's Burger Bus knows Italian food.