Chef Micah Rideout is out at Tarakaan. In fact, the entire food program is being discontinued. Don't worry, though — he's already landed a new position at an acclaimed restaurant in Gateway Memorial City.
Rideout earned early critical acclaim for Tarakaan's Pan Asian menu, but guests have been more in search of a club scene than a nice place to dine. Tarakaan owner Piran Esfahani contacted the Houston Press and wrote:
While the venue has earned acclaim and a fan base for its creative Pan Asian menu, it’s become evident through guest interactions and alcohol sales that the key draw of the concept is that of an upscale and upbeat lounge and nightclub that complements its particular Midtown location.
Although we still feel strongly about the culinary component, given customer preferences and the direction of sales, the partners have decided to suspend kitchen operations effective today and will focus on operating Tarakaan as a lounge and nightclub going forward.
Rideout's next job will be working for chef Addison Lee at KUU. His culinary knowledge and experience make him well-suited for executing KUU’s high-level Japanese fare. Prior to the position at Tarakaan, Rideout was a chef at Uchi Houston.
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Rideout is likely both a timely and a welcome addition since former chef de cuisine Martin Weaver, who was recently featured on Food Network’s Chopped, left KUU a few weeks ago to take a position at Brennan’s of Houston.