Peering through the dishwashing station just weeks after moving to the Ohio from Mexico City without knowing a word of English, Eugenio Reyes never imagined that he would rise through the ranks and one day become executive chef of a fine-dining restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.After eight months as a dishwasher, Reyes moved to the salad station, then gained his first leadership experience as a kitchen supervisor. He worked his way up to sous chef at Mitchell’s Ocean Club in Columbus, Ohio, and received Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ Sous Chef of the Year award in 2010. He then spent time as executive sous chef at Ocean Prime Dallas and executive chef thereafter. After successfully opening Ocean Prime Beverly Hills in 2014, he was named the company’s Executive Chef of the Year.
Chef Reyes credits his nearly two-decade career with Cameron Mitchell Restaurants for helping him discover his passion. He has become an integral part of employee development across the country, traveling to Michigan, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Dallas to lead kitchen training. When he is not in the Ocean Prime kitchen, he enjoys enhances his cooking skills by reading cookbooks, experimenting in the kitchen and watching the Food Network.
What do you love most about your city?
You never run out of things to do - there is so much! There are a huge amount of restaurants - you'll never run out.
Favorite breakfast meal and restaurant?
Pancakes with no syrup - oddly! Eggs on the side as well. Aside from Ocean Prime, my favorite restaurant in NYC is Le Bernardin, which is actually really close. My favorite restaurant outside of NYC is The Guild House in Columbus, Ohio which is also a Cameron Mitchell Restaurant.
What are you doing at:
6AM - I'm with my child, Alexander. He's 1 so at this point I'm trying to get him to go back to sleep!
10AM - At this point, I'll be in the restaurant prepping for lunch service
12PM - Favorite Power lunch spot?
There's no better power lunch than Ocean Prime - I make mine differently every day.
7 PM - By 7PM, I'm getting ready for the dinner rush, which is just beginning at this point
11PM - By 11, I'm relaxing at my housing and watching some bad television.
What should everyone try at least once?
A ghost pepper
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
A new big city that I can explore