On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," pastry chef Vanarin Kuch joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Koffeteria, his bakery and cafe in EaDo. Kuch begins by explaining how his history of cooking with his family made working in restaurants a logical choice after he graduated college.
The chef has had an eclectic career that includes time at Tiny Boxwood's plus Michelin-starred restaurants in New York and a major hotel project in Chicago. Together with his husband, Kuch returned to Houston and open Koffeteria in November 2019. Sandler asks the chef about why he chose to return home to start his business.
"Houston is my first great love. You're never done with your first great love," Kuch says. "Being a self-taught pastry chef, I just didn't feel up to par. I left and trained and worked at a bunch of places where I felt ready to come back. My family is here, my entire support staff is here. I was never done with Houston."
Prior to the interview, Avondale Food & Wine owner Mary Clarkson joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. They spend the majority of the segment discussing Gov. Greg Abbott's protocols that allowed Texas restaurants to operate at 50-percent capacity and bars to operate at 25-percent capacity. Their conversation includes Clarkson's experiences at Avondale as well as their impressions from meals at restaurants such as La Lucha and Kata Robata.
In the restaurant of the week segment, they share first impressions of Sixes and Sevens, the new bar that just opened next to Rudyard's. The hosts rave about bartender Lacy Williams' creative cocktail menu, the space's innovative design, and chef Anthony Calleo's sophisticated bar food.