On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chef Adam Dorris joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss his many projects. Best known for his work at Pax Americana and Presidio, Dorris recently began consulting at Coterie, the stylish downtown cafe from Southside Espresso owner Sean Marshall.
The conversation begins with Dorris tracing his professional journey from the Four Seasons hotel to the Omni, Voice at the Hotel Icon, Branch Water Tavern, Stella Sola, and Revival Market. He earned wide acclaim for Pax Americana, including a CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Chef of the Year in 2016. Presidio, his more casual Heights restaurant, seemed to be on the right track before fire damage caused it to close permanently. At Coterie, he's installed a new menu, hired and trained the kitchen staff, and added more elements to bring the restaurant into line with Marshall's vision for a casual, French-inspired cafe.
Facing those personal and professional challenges has caused Dorris to shift his priorities. Rather than spend every waking moment working, he's trying to find a better balance that allows him more time with his wife and daughter. With Coterie currently open from 7 am to 4 pm daily, he's able to be home for dinner.
"You get to a certain point where you've worked so much and put everything else on the back burner where you go, 'shit, what am I left with,'" Dorris says. "With Presidio opening up, I lost my father right at the beginning, I had a one-year old daughter, everything went kind of crazy. What's going on? What am I working for? If I'm just making food that people like for 15 minutes, that's one thing, but if I'm looking to better my family's life, better my life, better those around, I probably want to do that more."
Prior to Dorris' interview, Felice Sloan of Swanky Maven joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. Their topics include Memorial Trail Ice House's plans to bring a massive new patio bar to the area near Memorial Park, Federal Grill's second location that will open next year, and the Food Apartheid Dinner Series that unites four of the city's most-talented chefs.
In the restaurants of the week segment, the hosts share very different experiences at Warehouse 72 — his far more successful than hers — the recently opened Italian restaurant inspired by Spaghetti Warehouse. Then, they offer their opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of downtown's four food halls.