recipe for success

Talented Houston chef cooks up new company for aspiring restaurateurs

Talented Houston chef cooks up new company for aspiring restaurateurs

Omar Pereney Culinary Matters
Chef Omar Pereney. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam

Chef Omar Pereney has launched a new culinary consulting company designed to help future restaurateurs achieve their dreams. Culinary Matters aims to offer clients a comprehensive approach that covers food, beverage, design, branding, and more.

Establishing Culinary Matters brings an end to Pereney’s time as a partner in A La Carte Consulting Group. During his tenure there, Pereney assisted with the openings of several successful restaurants, including Vibrant, Traveler’s Table, and The Nash. Still, he wanted to shift his focus to a new business model.

“A La Carte was known for a lot more on the operations side, on the financial side, and market research side, all things that that were outside my area of expertise,” Pereney tells CultureMap. “Culinary Matters is all about culinary. It’s really more design focus than it is operations focused. We want to create and launch badass food and beverage concepts.”

Towards that end, Pereney has assembled an all-star team to help clients launch a successful project. For example, sommelier Jamie de Leon has served as a wine buyer at Kroger for many years, and designer Kim Lewis achieved nationwide notoriety as the lead designer for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Others offer expertise in food safety, cocktails, pastry — even a photographer so that a restaurant is ready for both editorial and social media.

“I’ve vetted all these people. They are the best,” Pereney says. “It’s a comprehensive package.”

Pereney’s accomplishments may be familiar to many Houstonians. After achieving success on TV in Latin America, he opened Peska, a globally inspired seafood restaurant, near the Galleria. Although it later closed, the chef earned wide acclaim for his deft preparations and creative flavors.

The company will office out of downtown’s historic Western Electric Company building. The space will feature a commercial kitchen and host classes for restaurant industry workers.

“Think about a New York-looking loft, high ceilings, lots of light,” Pereney says. “We’re going to turn it into an amazing culinary studio.”