Jan 19, 2023 - News

Eric Bach, the chef behind Hyde Park's Bouzy, shares his last meal

Photo illustration of a place setting shaped like a skull and crossbones containing a photo of Eric Bach.

Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Press Marketing

Later this month, corks will pop and suds will spill at a brand-new spot on Hyde Park's high-paced restaurant row called Bouzy, named after a vineyard village in France where the residents celebrate champagne year round.

  • Chef Eric Bach, a 2012 Tampa Prep grad and former executive sous chef at Bern's Steakhouse, has crafted the menu and will run the kitchen.

The intrigue: The fizz-forward concept from Cru Hospitality Group, parent company of Cru Cellars, is Bach's first go at executive chef, and he faces an interesting challenge that has required thought and creativity: He'll have no gas in the kitchen. No burners.

What he's saying: "It forced me more creative," he said. "The untrained eye will have no idea that it's not a fully functioning kitchen."

Flashback: Bach had never sunk his teeth into a dry-aged Delmonico at Bern's when he applied for a job in the kitchen at age 22. He'd left Tampa to wrestle in college in Colorado but quickly became preoccupied with food.

  • He knew Bern's was one of the best restaurants in the country, so that's where he wanted to work.
  • Bach rose from the sauté line to executive sous chef, and gained experience in kitchens in Oklahoma City, Boulder, Telluride and Aspen before coming home to Tampa.

We wanted to know what Bach would order if he had one meal left to enjoy.

His answer: Caviar and fried chicken.

  • "I have to have both ends. And that speaks to what I love, caviar and fried chicken," he said. "We all know Publix fried chicken is great. At Bern's, when we did our Labor Day parties, everybody brings food, that's all there was. Caviar and Publix fried chicken. You've never seen so much caviar and fried chicken."

Ben's thought bubble: Maybe this'll wind up on the menu.


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