On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chef Sasha Grumman joins CultureMap food editor to discuss her role as the executive chef at Rosalie Italian Soul and how she's been spending her time during the downtown restaurant's temporary closure. The conversation begins with chef Grumman explaining how a trip to Italy put her on the path to a career working in restaurants. After stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Austin, chef-owner Chris Cosentino recruited Grumman to Houston for her first executive chef post.
In addition to working at Rosalie, Grumman also talks about her work at the Southern Smoke Foundation. She's one of the furloughed hospitality employees helping the organization process the applications it has received from hospitality workers in crisis. So far, Southern Smoke has distributed over $1,000,000 to people across the country. As someone used to working 14-hour days, Grumman says the organization has helped ground her while she's away from the restaurant.
"Southern Smoke has really given me a purpose, and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity," she says. 'Working with somebody like Chris Shepherd and the team, everyone has such a big heart. It is incredible to see this process transform."
Prior to Grumman joining the show, Sandler and co-host Matt Harris discuss the news of the week. Their conversation center around Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to allow restaurants to reopen for dine-in service at 25-percent capacity; they discuss both the conditions under which restaurants will be allowed to operate and whether they would feel comfortable dining out right now.
Then, they describe three new bars and restaurants that have either recently opened or will open soon: Millie's, a new seafood restaurant from Ken Bridge; Common Bond On-The-Go, a new drive-thru concept for the popular cafe; and Roots, a wine bar with a sophisticated food program.
In the restaurants of the week segment, the two hosts share where they've been ordering food to-go, including Kata Robata, Click Virtual Food Hall, and Coltivare.