It takes a lot of guts to go against the grain when you're an up-and-coming chef, but Ryan Lachaine seems to defy the odds with his new Montrose eatery Riel, which combines the flavors of his Canadian and Ukrainian heritage with the culinary influences of Houston. With a technical savvy in the kitchen and a deft sensibility for balancing flavors, the chef has created chic dishes and an ambience that defy the crop of big-name, out-of-town expansions currently flooding Houston's fine-dining scene. Borscht? Hanger steak and potatoes one-upped by steak and pierogis? Such are the small feats that enhance Houston's dining identity, and call to mind something important: Houston needs to put its money on chefs like Lachaine, who bring talent and fresh ideas to the table on a homegrown level, if it wants more national recognition from the James Beard Awards and elsewhere.