Chef Richard Knight Parts Ways With Harold’s To Focus On Family & Food Show
Longtime Houston chef Richard Knight’s new tenure as executive chef at Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room at 350 West 19th in the Heights was hailed as good news. The chef had been without a permanent restaurant position since leaving Treadsack restaurant Hunky Dory just before it closed for good. It turns out, though, that one of the chef’s other endeavors is taking him back out of the kitchen sooner rather than later.
A press release from Alli Jarrett, owner of Harold’s, says that Knight has decided to leave so he can focus on “Show Us Your Goods,” which is currently being pitched as a television series and screened at film festivals around the country. It’s also been picked as an official selection for the 2018 Independent Pilot Competition at the New York Television Festival, for example. The potential series would focus on independent farmers and artisans, as well as on the food products they make, raise or grow.
In addition, Knight plans to return to his native England to visit family. All in all, that kind of schedule isn’t really compatible with being a full-time chef. “Richard and I are friends and we part amicably,” stated Jarrett in a press release. “He came to realize at this time in his life he wants to focus more on his family and filmmaking. I believe in following your heart so I wish Richard and his family all good things.”
The press release states that, for now at least, several employees who have been with the company for at least three-and-a-half years are going to continue running the kitchen as usual. In fact, between Knight’s additions (including his fish and chips) and new summertime selections, there’s a lot for diners to try. These include Summer Peach Salad, Deviled Eggs & Shrimp (made with Whitehurst Heritage Farm eggs and shrimp from the Gulf) and Fresh Grouper Succotash with Covey Rise Farm peas, beans and corn. There’s a new drink on the menu as well: the Nocturnal Flower made with citron vodka, lemon, lavender, Cointreau and crème Yvette.
“Alli and I care about each other a lot as friends and as professionals in the industry,” Knight stated in the press release. “My family is my biggest priority at this time. Between needing to get back home to England this summer for the first time in years and the film festivals we have been accepted to for “Show Us Your Goods”, I felt that it would not be fair to Alli or Harold’s. I love and respect her very much and wish her nothing but success in this business she pours her heart and soul into daily. Regardless of my departure, Alli and I remain friends and will be for life.”
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.