What's Eric Eating Episode 75
A Houston chef's Wild ride to the top, plus first tastes of 2 hot spots
On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chef Jane Wild of The Dunlavy joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss her career. Prior to assuming her current role, Wild spent several years working for Whole Foods Market in both Chicago and Portland. A desire to be closer to family brought her to Texas, where she opened Jane & John Dough cafe in Tomball. She signed on with The Dunlavy in March and quickly rose to executive chef.
Wild has put her stamp on the menu by sourcing more ingredients locally and improving the bread options by buying from Bread Man Baking Co. Some of those loaves get used in new sandwiches, which prompts Sandler to ask the chef to explain her theory about what makes for a good one.
"First of all, it starts with great bread," Wild says, as she explains what she likes about Bread Man. "We source all of our meats locally and we roast them in house. The porchetta we marinate with fennel pollen and soy sauce; then we roast that until the chicharrones is crunchy. Then, we have West Coast hazelnuts and parsley and an amazing caper mayonnaise. The sandwich starts with the bread and then just coming together with creativity (and) a great spread. Tomatoes can be hit or miss as far as flavor goes. We marinate each slice and roast it to bring out the most intense flavor we can. Then, I love the sweetness of caramelized onions. We throw that on our sandwiches as well."
Prior to Wild joining the show, Sandler and co-host Matt Harris discuss the news of the week. Their topics include chefs Lyle Bento and Maurizio Ferrarese finding new homes at Star Fish and the Hotel Granduca, respectively, Finn Hall's opening date, and California-based restaurant Mendocino Farms' plans to arrive in Houston. In the restaurants of the week segment, the hosts share some first impressions of Diana American Grill and B.B. Lemon.