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Contemporary Japanese dining & sushi restaurant.

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Japanese farmhouse dining & sushi restaurant.
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Tyson Cole    chef/owner

Philip Speer    DI­RECTOR OF CULI­NARY 
OPER­A­TIONS

Chef Philip Speer conceives desserts that are an antic­i­pated finish to dinner rather than an afterthought. As a 17 year old, Speer began exper­i­menting as a scratch baker in his home­town of Houston, Texas. Early in his career, Chef Speer gained expe­ri­ence by helping to open the crit­i­cally acclaimed Jean-Luc's Bistro in Austin, Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Bank in Houston and finally Seven and Star­lite in Austin where he took on the task of revamping their dessert programs.

Speer left Star­lite in 2005 to work at Uchi with recent James Beard Award winning Chef Tyson Cole. Combining elements of surprise and artistry with fresh ingre­di­ents are hall­marks of Speer's approach to his craft and these tech­niques have garnered him awards in the Austin Chron­icle, the Austin Amer­ican-Statesman and Texas Monthly as well as national recog­ni­tion in Bon Appetit, Cooks Illus­trated and USA Today. He appeared as a judge on the Food Network's "Throw­down with Bobby Flay" as well as part of Chef Tyson Cole's team that competed on the Food Network's "Iron Chef America." Speer has been named a James Beard Award semi-finalist in the overall pastry chef cate­gory for the past two years.

Speer's talents are rein­vented at Cole's newest restau­rant, Uchiko. Trans­lated as "child of Uchi", Uchiko opened in July 2010 to national praise, receiving honors such as Texas Monthly's "Best New Restau­rant" and one of the "Best New Restaru­ants 2010" by GQ. Uchiko also received James Beard Award semi-finalist nomi­na­tions in the rising star chef of the year (Exec­u­tive Chef Paul Qui) and best new restau­rant cate­gories. 

Cole's recently released cook­book, Uchi the Cook­book, features an entire chapter on Speer's desserts that high­light his inven­tive tech­niques and creative uses of less tradi­tional ingre­di­ents. While awards and recog­ni­tion are greatly appre­ci­ated, Speer will tell you  "at the end of the day, it's all about my love affair with food and working at such a high caliber estab­lish­ment with diverse and talented chefs."