After a short stint at Tallulah’s this summer, chef Eric Rivera quietly moved on to head the kitchen at Bookstore Bar & Cafe in the Alexis Hotel.
Before Tallulah’s, Rivera was director of culinary operations and innovation with Josh Henderson's Huxley Wallace Collective, where he oversaw the opening of much-anticipated restaurants Saint Helens, two Great State Burger locations, Scout, The Nest, and Bar Noroeste.
Rivera is an Olympia native who trained at the Art Institute of Seattle and cooked at Blueacre before moving to Chicago to eventually work as director of culinary research operations at the respected Alinea restaurant. When he made the move, Eater Chicago suggested he might be one to watch.
Rivera has been at the Bookstore for several weeks now, and he told The Seattle Times "he's finally getting the carte blanche he's been looking for since he left Chicago." In fact, he’s already rolled out new menus dedicated to hyper seasonality and wide-ranging creativity. For starters, there are new items like tombo poke, salt-and-vinegar chicharrones, and chicken thigh with peanut and green chili. And there will be a new happy hour menu coming out November 1 with plates like Dungeness takoyaki and okonomiyaki with shaved salmon jerky and smoked salmon roe.
Meanwhile, Rivera’s movement is accompanied by several other chef shuffles, which The Times tracked: former Bookstore chef Caprial Pence is now overseeing Seattle’s Munchery meals, and replacing Rivera at Tallulah’s is Will Richey, who spent the last four years cooking for Ethan Stowell.