Executive Chef Richard Knight Finds A New Home At Harold’s In The Heights—Updated

Chef Richard Knight, who first came to prominence in Houston as one of the chefs at Feast, hasn’t been at helm of a restaurant kitchen since leaving Hunky Dory on February 5 of last year. (Hunky Dory shuttered just a few months later after several business issues surrounding parent company Treadsack came to light.) His fans are going to be very happy to hear that Knight has once again found a place to call his own at Harold’s In The Heights, owned by businesswoman Alli Jarrett and located at 350 West 19th Street.

Since his departure from Hunky Dory, Knight and his wife, Carrie, haven’t exactly been taking it easy. They have hosted several farm dinners, were leaders of the Houston and beverage industry effort to feed Hurricane Harvey victims and first responders and are showcasing local farmers in a series called “Show Us Your Goods” that is currently being pitched as a TV series.

The opportunity at Harold’s In The Heights opened up after longtime chef Antoine Ware ended his long tenure, having taken the executive chef position in 2013 after helping open The Hay Merchant. “Antoine is the first person I ever hired at Harold’s and I care for him like a brother. I wish Antoine and his family nothing but happiness and great success,” said Jarrett via a press release. (Houston Food Finder sent a message to Ware to inquire about his plans but has not yet received a response.)

Update, 3/9/2018, 12:07 p.m.: Ware has taken a role with Luby’s, the popular cafeteria chain that also owns Fuddruckers. Lisa Lee, Vice President of Brand & Marketing Strategy for the company, says, “We are very excited to have him on board and know that he will be a great asset to our company. Given our multiple brands, his role in the company has not yet been defined. We will keep you posted as soon as we know more.”

Knight crawfish at Harold's
Yes, it’s crawfish season in Houston, but this take being developed by executive chef Richard Knight of Harold’s In the Heights has a twist. These are spiced Indian-style and come in three varieties: Mild Korma, Tikka Masala and Spicy Vindaloo. All will be served with raita and flatbread. Photo by Richard Knight.

Knight is already on the job and currently working on menu development. He says new dishes will start appearing mid-March. A native Brit, Knight is known for signature dishes that include exemplary sticky toffee pudding and fish and chips, which are practically birthrights.

However, it would be a grave error to underestimate his versatility. His burger at Hunky Dory was, hands down, one of the best in Houston. Expect that Harold’s will soon feature another Knight creation that includes two thin, crispy patties and all the accoutrements. Watch this space—more of the menu will be revealed soon.

Knight’s broad repertoire means that Harold’s Southern menu is about to get more diverse. That said, customer favorites such as KG’s Double Brined Cast Iron Chicken, Shrimp & Grits and Granny Cake aren’t going anywhere. Soon, though, it will be, “Southern from near and far.”

Salad Royale No. 3 at Harold's
A new salad for Harold’s In The Heights under development by executive chef Richard Knight: Salad Royale No. 3 with Bibb lettuce, shaved cucumber, strawberries, apple, dried oranges, pea shoots and fresh mint. It’s dressed with Champagne Vinaigrette given extra depth by Pimms liqueur. Photo by Richard Knight.

“Chef Richard and I have a lot more in common than one would think since we are both from the South. Richard is from the southern coast of England and I am from the southern coast of the USA. We both believe in knowing where our food comes from and providing the freshest ingredients possible,” Jarrett said.

“When Alli and I first sat down we realized that we both were lucky enough to grow up near the coast, with many memories of pulling mussels from the rocks, crabbing, fishing and general shenanigans, resulting in wonderful family feasts fresh from the ocean,” elaborated Knight. “We both also share a great passion for supporting our farmers and community, trying always to use as much locally grown and raised product as we can and moving with the seasons. We are both looking forward to working together and coming up with an exciting culinary mix drawn from both of our cultural backgrounds.”

In other words, this unique melding of “South Meets South” means there are exciting culinary adventures ahead for diners who are ready to join the ride.

Article was updated on 3/2/18, 9:51 a.m. to correct that “Show Us Your Goods” is being pitched as a possible TV series. 

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  • March 1, 2018 at 2:15 pmTeri L

    Welcome Chef Richard!! Looking forward to your menu!

  • March 1, 2018 at 12:16 pmMaris

    I loved the pork belly at Feast, so delicious!