Eric hosted over 600 people at his in-home pop-up concept, Salt Spoon
Get to know Eric in this Q&A, and get his “Rigatoni with bacon and mushrooms,” Monday (3/9) from 5-8PM!
Q: What’s your cooking background?
Eric: My first job was working in the kitchen at the summer camp I had attended for 10 years as a kid. When I came back home to Chicago from camp I started with jobs washing dishes, prepping food, bussing tables, etc. Eventually I started working as a line cook and then graduated with a degree in the culinary arts from Chicago’s own Kendall College. I went on to cook in some of Chicago and L.A.’s best restaurants for about 8 years before making a move to the front of house.
After over a decade of working in restaurants I started my own pop-up concepts called Salt Spoon and Salt Spoon Tavern where I wrote and executed multi course menus for a combined almost 600 people before returning to work as the GM of a west loop restaurant. I’m excited to get back to cooking semi-professionally on Shmeal and share my food with anyone who loves to eat as much as I do!
Q: Where did you grow up and what kind of food did you grow up with?
Eric: I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago with an Italian father who certainly loved his pasta. He built a little soap box stand for me to be able to see on top of the stove when I was a little kid. I think of a house filled with great aromas that bring people around the table to enjoy each other every time I cook.
Q: What’s your favorite food memory?
Eric: I’ve been fortunate enough to eat at some really great restaurants all around the world. There are two parts that I really love about the experience. One is the way people open up with each other around food and drink that they tend not to do in any other social setting. And the other is watching an incredible restaurant balance technical skill with true hospitality in a way that seems effortless when we all know it’s the opposite. My favorite food experiences aren’t the ones where I’m eating though, it’s the times when I get to share warmth and hospitality by cooking for others, especially in my home.
Q: Anything else we should know about you and your cooking?
Eric: I’ve spent the majority of my career cooking professionally so I’m proud of my ability to put together high quality meals, cleanly and safely, even in my own home kitchen and I look forward to being able to share my passion with everyone!