Cleveland chef Eric Wells plans to open a new East-Side restaurant on April 2. "I'm finally stepping out and away from corporate America," chuckles the long-time employee at Progressive's corporate headquarters in Mayfield Village. "I'm heading out on my own."
Of course, Wells is no newbie entrepreneur. A 2004 grad of Loretta Paganini's International Culinary Arts & Sciences Institute in Chesterland, he has kept his business — and culinary — chops honed over the years by operating Skye LaRae's Culinary Services, specializing in in-home cooking instruction and private dining. He's also makes frequent appearances on local radio and TV talk shows, serves as a popular guest chef at local farmers markets, and takes an occasional turn as guest speaker at corporate events.
The new restaurant — also named Skye LaRae's — will specialize in breakfast and lunch made with local, seasonal ingredients. In the evenings, though, it will provide space for the chef to expand his culinary classes and private dining options. "We can change the decor to suit the event: everything from daintily decorated showers to more formal corporate dinners."
Look for him at 501 East 105th St. in Cleveland. There's no phone yet, but you'll find more info soon at www.skyelaraes.com. — Elaine T. Cicora