In an article last year titled Does Houston Hate Celebrity Chefs?, we cited example after example of a celebrity chef who came to Houston only to be greeted with skepticism and indifference. Such has been the case with Bradley's Fine Diner.
Namesake chef Bradley Ogden got off on the wrong foot when he said in an interview with Eater Las Vegas that Houston was "starving for great places to eat." It was a bit of nonsense that didn't get things off on the right foot. When Bradley's Fine Diner opened, it was greeted with a big yawn. It's a beautiful restaurant, and the dishes were nice but not compelling.
The restaurant ownership recognizes the issue and has brought in a native Houston chef with a long, well-regarded history to fix things. That chef is Greg Lowry, whose résumé includes Tony's, Voice, Max's Wine Dive and Triniti. Even his education was obtained here, at the Art Institute of Houston and Culinary Institute LeNôtre. He started in pastry, making all the pastries for Tony's when many restaurants needed to be supplied. This was before the sale of La Griglia and the two Grotto locations.
Lowry is now in charge of the food at both Bradley's Fine Diner and Funky Chicken, which seems to have fared better thanks to its fast-casual concept and unique gluten-free fried chicken. He's extremely enthusiastic about tightening the ship and gearing the food to Houstonians' palates.
In part one of our Chef Chat, we'll find out his long history in Texas restaurants. Come back tomorrow for part two, where we'll find out specifically what he intends to do to bring Bradley's Fine Diner into vogue with Houstonians.
EOW: Are you from Houston?
GL: I'm about as Houstonian as you get. I was born in New York. I lived there for about a year and then we transplanted to Houston. My dad was transferred here. I think he was working with a company called Sales World at the time. They moved the family down from New York.More »