“No idea, none at all,” Erling Wu-Bower says when we ask if he had any sense that he might be the pick to take over Avec after Koren Grieveson announced her departure. “I mean, how often do you get to be head chef at your favorite restaurant?” From the outside though, there couldn’t have been a better choice: Wu-Bower has learned nearly every side of Paul Kahan’s and One Off’s meatophilic empire, working under Grieveson at Avec and Brian Huston at The Publican, and launching Publican Quality Meats’ cured meats program with Cosmo Goss. He seems the natural choice to carry on Avec’s hugely influential Mediterranean small plates menu while keeping it up to date. With the change of seasons he’s nearly wiped the menu clean— okay, the dates and the focaccia will never go away— and filled it with new dishes of his own devising. We stopped in Friday afternoon and he showed us several of the new dishes, some of which he was still tinkering with as we spoke, took pictures, and nibbled. See them in the works in our slideshow below.
Erling Wu-Bower at Avec.