While most kids were playing with action figures, Eric was in the kitchen testing and tasting recipes. As a youngster growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Eric found excitement, challenges and passion in his favorite place – the kitchen. His childhood love became his career path and purpose. He studied at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and soon after graduation, worked under celebrity chef David Burke at the Rivermarket Kitchen. He credits this experience with sparking his creative artistry with food.
Chef Eric believes that food speaks a universal language. To become a truly accomplished chef, one must be aware of the styles from other cultures. Working with Chef Jean-Louis Le Massion from Le Petite Café in France, he learned how to finesse the romance of a dish. From his tenure with Chef Giovanni Brunell at Il Tratattoire da Familia in Italy, he learned how to infuse passion and robust flavor into his cooking. From there, he studied with Master Chef Lee Ho of Otani from Japan where he learned how to meld old-world practices with modern cuisine.
The world took notice, as Chef Eric became Chef de Cuisine at the famed Marriott Marquis in New York City. Chef Eric continued to incorporate internationally flavors while introducing new techniques to his preparation and presentation. The James Beard Foundation, world famous for re-establishing the American way of cooking and the technique of using only fresh, indigenous ingredients, recognized Chef Eric for his contributions to the gastronomic culinary scene in the United States and nominated him for Outstanding Chef of Year. In addition,Chef Eric was also invited for the third time to host a dinner at the James Beard House in New York for the Great Regional Chefs of America Series, the first catering chef to be given this prestigious opportunity.
The superlatives continued when The International Chef’s Association named Chef Eric Creative Caterer of the Year and Chef of the Year – the only American chef to receive that distinction. Complimenting the industry recognition was the tremendous media attention Chef Eric has received. He’s been twice featured in Wine Spectator Magazine with an Award of Excellence. USA Today recognized him as one of the Top Ten New Chefs and The New York Times honored his restaurant, Pleiades, with a three-star rating.
Food Art Magazine named Chef Eric one of the Top Ten Chefs. He was featured in Jezebel Magazine in the Top Twenty Chefs of Distinction. Catering Magazine, Cater Source Magazine and Chef Magazine all recognized him for his creative small plate creations and trend setting approach. He has made numerous network appearances across NBC, ABC, Fox5, and The Food Network where he became the 2011 Champion of “Chopped”, the network’s highest rated show.
The media continues to celebrate Chef Eric, now with the launch of his most recent cookbook “SMALL BITES BIG FLAVORS” and his recent success with his sold out first cookbook “Stick It, Spoon It, Put It in a Glass”. This literary feast for the eyes is fast becoming a culinary ‘must’ to caterers, restaurateurs and home chefs alike. Chef Eric is Chef/Partner at Morris tap and Grill, Sarah’s Bakery and Partner in Culinary Development and Design group. He sits on the advisory board at Chef Magazine, and serves as a contributing editor. He also served as the International Caterers Association Culinary Council Chairman.
A cancer survivor, Chef Eric knows the importance of a support circle in fighting this life-threatening disease. He advocates for the American Cancer Society and has been recognized by the Society with their prestigious Heart and Soul Award. Paying his good fortune forward is at the heart of Chef Eric’s work. He continues to teach master classes and seminars for CaterSource, Event Solutions & The International Caterers Association. By teaching thousands of caterers new and innovative ways to better their business, Eric’s commitment to the success of the industry and future leaders is evident.