On this episode of What's Eric Eating, chef Angelo Emiliani joins CultureMap food editor to discuss his life and career. Best known for his Angie's Pizza pop-up, the native Houstonian will soon participate in the popular Chef Fest event and open Cafe Louie in the East End.
Emiliani begins the conversation by explaining why he's participating in Chef Fest and what attendees can expect him to serve. From there, Sandler asks the chef about his interest in cooking and the path that led him to work for legendary pizzaiolo and James Beard Award winner Chris Bianco. They discuss Emiliani's approach to pizza and how it differs from traditional Neapolitan pies.
Eventually, they turn to Cafe Louie, the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant the chef will open next month in partnership with his sister Lucianna at The Plant, the East End development that's also home to popular wine bar How to Survive on Land and Sea. Citing restaurants like San Francisco's Tartine and Sqirl in Los Angeles, the chef describes it as a take on vegetable-forward California cuisine with a Texas perspective (and a first-rate in-house baking program for items like croissants and morning buns).
"If you took the American breakfast and flipped it on its head," is how the chef describes Cafe Louie. "Instead of meat being the cornerstone of your breakfast and lunch, we flip it. We're really pushing vegetable-driven, Israeli, Mediterranean, French, Italian. That's where the food goes."
Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Mary Clarkson discuss the news of the week. Their topics include the changes in management at Night Shift, Chris Shepherd's decision not to open Everlong Bar & Hideway, and Ben Berg bringing B.B. Italia to Sugar Land Town Square.
In the restaurants of the week segment, they share thoughts on why La Table doesn't feel like the same restaurant it was before the pandemic. Finally, Sandler shares his thoughts on a recent meal at Helen Greek Food & Wine in Rice Village.