Eric Huang grew up in a Chinese restaurant in New York and has always had a love of the stimuli and the energy that pervades a busy dining room. Like most first-generation Asian immigrants, he was not supposed to be “wasting” his parents’ sacrifice by going into the hospitality industry. At home, Eric wasn’t allowed to cook because he was force-fed a life of classical music training and had to keep his fingers safe for the cello. Fast forward to a stint at The Juilliard School, a subsequent expulsion, he then sneaked his way into Northwestern University. Having an existential crisis about what he wanted to do with his life, Huang wandered back into a restaurant to ultimately become a chef.
Eric Huang has deepened his skills in New York City’s most renowned fine dining restaurants from Café Boulud to Gramercy Tavern, to finish most recently as a sous chef at the Michelin starred NYC institution: Eleven Madison Park. After almost 10 years spent in the fine dining industry, Eric was in the process of opening his restaurant as a means to challenge the somewhat entrenched notions that Americans have of Chinese food. Then Covid-19 decided otherwise. Huang found himself back at his uncle’s restaurant where he is serving up fried chicken as part of his new delivery pop-up project: Pecking House.
During the pandemic, Huang decided it was also time to give back. After hearing the stories of Asian children being harassed and bullied over unjustified COVID fears, he felt now was a critical time to do a mentorship with APEX for Youth to try making a difference in a young person’s life.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award