Raised in Colorado, Chef Eric Rivera’s appreciation for cuisine began at a young age by watching and learning in both of his grandmother’s kitchens. He started his career working in local establishments in Colorado Springs and Denver. He worked at the historic Marlowe’s Restaurant, where he was executive sous chef for three years, further adding to his culinary knowledge and experience. These opportunities at a young age resulted in the opportunity at 23 years old to lead the kitchen as the Executive Chef at Lalas Wine Bar and Pizzeria where he remained for the next three years. While working in Colorado, Chef Eric immersed himself into the local food community focusing on using local ingredients and varying his cuisine with the seasons. These efforts earned Lalas the Top Ten Best New Restaurant award.
With the birth of his daughter and new opportunities opening up in Birmingham, Chef Eric next opened the Todd English P.U.B as the Executive Sous Chef in the uptown area. He ultimately oversaw all hotel food operations for the next two years. This experience then presented him with yet another opportunity to re-open the Historic Redmont Hotel in downtown Birmingham, overseeing both a café with fresh breads and locally roasted coffee and a fine dining Italian-inspired restaurant utilizing local ingredients. Next, Chef Eric brought his talents to our local community at Vintage Year offering a fine dining experience. We are fortunate to have Chef Eric at the helm here at Vintage Cafe as well.
At Vintage Hospitality Group Chef Eric utilizes simple dishes that focus on twists of distinctive ingredients and flavors that showcase seasonality and quality. Chef’s national press accolades include receiving mentions in the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Newsweek Magazines. Additionally, Chef Eric has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a Smart Catch Leader for its sustainable seafood sourcing as well as a Grand Prize Winner for its Blended Burger Contest. Other accolades include his being a two time winner at the Feast of Flavours event at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
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