We've said it once and we'll say it again. Opening a restaurant in Houston is a bitch when it comes to permitting. But that doesn't stop the conāt team of Beard-nominated Randy Rucker and pastry chef Chris Leung from continuing work on their Museum District restaurant. It just isn't through actual construction at the moment.
Eater caught up with Rucker to find out how they're spending their time while awaiting those precious permits.
Planting a garden:
Rucker tells us the con?t garden is actually two blocks away from the restaurant site. In it, they've planted carrots, burdock root, cabbage, kale, fennel, various herbs and lettuces like nasturtium, arugula, mustards, cress, stevia, yarrow and sorrel. They've also planted a few fruit and citrus trees which are already beginning to flower.
Working with local artists:
They've commissioned a local ceramic artist to design bowls, plates and other serviceware. Rucker is "very excited about this," because he "loves china, loves antiques," and buys them "all the time even if it's just like three or four pieces."
Scheduling trips for research and development:
The team is headed to the San Francisco Bay area in late March to "visit a few joints and eat!" Umm, you know who to call if you need someone to document your trip, right?
Pastry chef Chris Leung is keeping busy by making and selling chocolates.
Prepping for dinners at other places:
Team con?t has two dinners in their near future. The first is at 13 Celsius on February 26. The second will be at the Blackwood Educational Land Institute near Hempstead, Texas and Rucker tells us that it will be "an incredible experience." The Blackwood dinner will be April 28 and is still in the planning stages.