Hai hospitality (the group behind Uchi) announced that the chef at the upcoming Houston location is from they will be Loyalty sign. Loro Houston is slated to open in the Heights this fall. It is the third location of the concept that brings together the chef’s Southeast Asian culinary perspective Tyson Cole from Uchi and Uchiko with the Texas barbecue from Pitmaster Aaron Franklin from Franklin Barbecue. (First Loro is in Austin, second in Dallas.) The collaboration has dishes like Smoked beef brisket with chili gastrique and Thai herbs and Char Siew pork belly with homemade hoisin sauce.
Aaron Franklin and Tyson Cole from Loro. Courtesy photo.
Leal was born in Monterrey, Mexico, but grew up in Houston. He started out in the hotel business as a hotel dishwasher. In high school, he wanted to become a professional award fighter, but after graduating, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Houston instead. After graduating in culinary arts, he worked his way up as a line chef and butcher and finally got the opportunity to run a kitchen as a senior chef at Wolfgang Puck Express in Houston. His next big break was when he assumed the position of Executive Sous Chef at the historic Hotel Galvez in Galveston.
Pork belly bowl at Loro’s. Photo by Logan Crable.
According to a press release, Leal’s interests and experiences include classic American cuisine and barbecue. He honed his skills in the latter by smoking meat as a supporting actor for FireCraft BBQ’s David Welch. Leal also worked at Chef Kent Rathbun’s restaurant, Jasper’s and Topgolf where he gained experience in a high volume setting.
“Chef Marcos has such a great attitude and diverse experience; We’re excited to have a Houston man leading our Loro team in the Heights, ”said Cole in a press release.
A rendering of the upcoming Loro Houston location. Rendering by Michael Hsu architectural office.
“Joining the team as the head chef at Loro Heights is the highlight of my culinary journey,” Leal said in a press release. “I look forward to building a team from the ground up and returning to Houston, the city I consider my hometown.”
While the opening hours for the Loro Houston location have not yet been officially announced, the Austin location is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and has happy hour from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is likely that the new Heights location will offer similar opening hours. More updates are expected between now and the Loro Houston opening this fall.
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