About

Eric Rivera – Chef/Owner, Eric Rivera Cooks, A Restaurant Group, LLC.

Olympia, Washington, native Eric Rivera started his career in business. But cooking was always his passion, and he wasn’t afraid to hustle to get where he is today.

His journey to Eric Rivera Cooks, A Restaurant Group, has taken many noteworthy twists and turns, including a three-plus year stint at Alinea restaurant in Chicago, where he was Director of Culinary Research Operations working alongside chef-owner Grant Achatz. After that he moved on to Seattle’s Huxley Wallace Collective, where he opened the Thompson Hotel Seattle, plus four restaurants, in just one year.

Eric, a graduate of the culinary school at the Art Institute of Seattle, traces cooking back to when he was a small child. Growing up in a Puerto Rican family that celebrated food, Eric often cooked with his grandfather. Despite his early connection with the kitchen, Eric pursued jobs in mortgage and insurance. But eventually he found himself drawn back to food.

Grassroots tactics led him to his first job: Eric knocked on doors for jobs when he was beginning culinary school. “I would walk into restaurants wearing a suit and holding my resume. Nothing came of it,” Eric explains. “But when I finally took off the suit and simplified my resume to say only, ‘Culinary Student’ then people started paying attention. I got my first job.”

Starting in the kitchen at Seastar in Seattle, Eric moved on to Blueacre Seafood, where he eventually became sous chef while still in school. When the opportunities at Alinea and Huxley Wallace Collective presented themselves, Eric seized them.

Now, with his own restaurant group,  Eric plays to his guests’ sense of discovery. “It’s an exploration of the whole flavor spectrum, where you can go from sweet to savory to sour in one bite,” he says. “We have all these great local ingredients at our disposal, and we’ll be highlighting flavors of the Pacific Northwest – but in a way that will feel fresh and new to locals and visitors alike.”

addo, SILVA, and Lechonera are the three main projects that will be evolving under the Eric Rivera Cooks restaurant group name.  Look for more updates on the site and stay tuned for upcoming dates and experiences!

27 Comments

  1. I’m so excited, I’m inspired Eric! Lovin the recipes and can’t wait to taste the yumaliciousness

  2. You are my favorite chef. I like how I can drop off ingredients like lavender, cheese, steak you name it and your creative mind takes over and creates a wonderful appetizer or quicky meal.

  3. Love, love, love you blog!! It’s such a happy place to be! I’m striving to cook the way you do and not have to constantly follow the recipe – although I’m getting slightly better at this. You rock, Eric!

  4. Hey Eric… U r food looks so delicious.. i enjoyed ur blog alot. I will try cooking those recipes… 🙂

  5. The road trip to Eastern Washington wouldn’t have been as much fun without you on board. Great photos and videos of the trip too! -z

  6. Wow Eric! Make us all proud. And keep up with the blog. I know that with culinary school and everything that might be easier said than done.

    Looking forward to the day when you will bump Bobby Flay’s show to the side on the Food Network.

  7. Hey, I like your blog, I love to cook and definitely enjoy an awesome meal. I recently (8 months) became vegetarian and have had a complete lifestyle/eating change, so a few weeks ago I decided to start a blog that talks about my challenges as a new vegetarian and all the new recipes that I am creating in my kitchen.

  8. Eric,

    This is uncle Tony! How are you? I was just looking for recopies and found a Eric Rivera. I open the link and found you.

    It is very interesting that you have fall into your grandfather (Abuelo Felix) steps. As you know, he was my teacher and I also learn from him.

    Son, I’m proud to see that you has follow a family tradition. Maybe I can offer you some of my recopies.

    Eric God bless you and continue your excellent work.

    Love, Uncle Tony

  9. Hello, Eric,

    I found your blog while looking for bacalao. Nice pics! We have a lot in common, i.e., I just ate, and I am thinking about what I am going to cook and eat next!~

    I live in T-town, too. Can you please tell me where you found the fish? I have been jonesing for Jose Andres bacalao salad since I went to Tapas a couple of weeks ago (twice in 2 days–yeah, I know), and I want to make it before all the summer tomatoes are totally gone.

    Thank you. I will be reading….

    Best,

    Tanya

  10. Stuffing! Channeling Eric Rivera for a stuffing recipe that is reminds me of the Midwest but has Northwest sensibilities. Get on that would ja?
    Pam
    ps. Thanks for supporting NW Harvest Eric!

  11. Dude…I’ve never checked out your blog before. I wish I would have had you do my wedding food cause it sucked! This thing makes me hungry grrrr! Awesome JOB COUSIN!

  12. Hello Eric
    I recently discovered your blog, and I`m now checking it out everytime i turn on my computer.
    I`m a culinary student from Norway, and I`m starting my apprenticeship at a hotel in Norway in the beginning of the fall.
    And I`m just wondering how many years of school, and how many years of apprenticeship you have to follow through to be a chef in America?
    Great blog by the way

  13. Hi Eric!
    Stumbled onto your site while looking for tostones con pollo recipe. So many things I wanna try after reviewing your recipes. Everything looks delicious! Adding you to my favorites and passing your site along to my friends and family :0)

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