By Laura Gillespie – Reporter, Houston Business Journal
Mar 16, 2021, 2:53pm EDT
Omar Pereney, formerly of A La Carte Foodservice Consulting Group, now has a new Houston-based consulting business, Culinary Matters.
The company provides menu and product development, operations training, branding, commercial kitchen design, interior design as well as food styling and photography. It’s located in the former Western Electric Company Building at 100 Jackson St. downtown.
“At Culinary Matters, we have a talent for creating and communicating fresh food and beverage concepts in engaging ways and combining our different skill sets,” Pereney said in a statement. “We are the one-stop shop for anyone who wants the best shot possible at launching a progressive (food and beverage) brand or brand refresh; we are in this game to make a big change”
Also on the team is Chris Cai, culinary specialist; Deidre Goodhue, beverage specialist; Jaime de Leon, wine specialist; Jiolo “Jio” Dingayan, pastry chef; Kim Lewis Design, creative direction; Kirsten Gillam, food photographer; Omar Pereney Sr., IT director; Niki Vu, head recruiter; and McKenzie Loock, senior strategist.
“I am not their leader; they are all industry leaders who have reached the top of their field. I summoned them to put our creative minds together to work towards more delicious and prosperous future, kind of like what King Arthur once did with his round table,” said Pereney.
Houston-based A La Carte has worked with a number of notable eateries locally, including everyone from Niko Niko’s and Hubcap Grill to Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys and Three Brothers Bakery, along with national brands like Freebirds, per its website. Pereney was also involved with The Nash, which opened last year in The Star apartment building downtown.
Pereney entered the Houstonian food scene with Peska Seafood Culture, which opened in 2015. The chef and restaurant parted ways around the time the business rebranded to Peska Prime Steaks & Seafood and began offering a different menu in 2017. Later that year, Peska closed due to Hurricane Harvey and other factors. Pereney and the company settled a lawsuit a few months later, which released the chef from his noncompete clause.