Culinary Matters, 100 Jackson, was launched this month by young superstar chef Omar Pereney. He began his television and culinary career at the tender age of 14 hosting a cooking show called Yo Cocinero in his native Venezuela. His pursuits eventually landed him the executive chef role at Peska Seafood Culture at the wizened age of 20. Eventually, the Peska relationship went south, as reported here in the Houston Press but Pereney continued to be a force in the Houston restaurant scene as a consultant at A'la Carte Food Service Consulting Group. He most recently created the menu for The Nash downtown as well as training its staff to execute it.
With the motto of "Making your food ideas real! " the new venture, with Pereney as Principal and Brand Visionary, includes other up and comers along with industry veterans to provide the tools, services and expertise to clients looking to open their own concepts in the food and beverage business or for local restaurateurs and bar owners looking to refresh their brands.
Pereney says, "We want clients to enjoy the process. They need to be up to their elbows in food, cocktails, wine tastings and playing along with us as we create a solid plan, brand and concept." For this holistic approach, Culinary Matters is sited in the historic Western Electric Company building in east downtown. The large open floor plan offers natural light for photo shoots and video production while the expansive commercial kitchen offers a space for menu creation. There are multiple areas to demo concepts plus space for ideation sessions.
Pereney's team includes Chris Cai as Culinary Specialist, Diedre Goodhue as Beverage Specialist and Jaime De Leon as Wine Specialist. Jiolo (Jo) Dingayan will serve as Pastry Chef, Niki Vu as Head Recruiter and McKenzie Loock as Senior Strategist. The Creative Direction will be done by Kim Lewis Design. Omar Pereney Sr. will be the I.T. Director and well-known local photographer Kirsten Gilliam will be in charge of food photography.