Danyele McPherson Named as Sous Chef at The Grape Restaurant

Reservations just got more difficult to acquire at The Grape, chef/owner Brian C. Luscher's wine bistro, as Danyele McPherson was named sous chef today. McPherson is late of Stephan Pyles, where she began as line cook and worked her way up dice by dice to sous chef. She was educated at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and has worked in New York City as well as Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

While that pedigree is impressive, it wasn't Luscher's litmus test. "It's all about the connection," he says. "I spend more time with my sous chef than my family. So, we need to gel professionally." The chef received approximately 20 résumés, he said, which he whittled down to between six and eight possible candidates. "I was peeved I couldn't take them all," Luscher says. "I kept thinking, 'How can I use that chef?' They were amazing."

With McPherson it was kismet. "We just hit off from the start. I'm almost dumbfounded. I mean, what are not going to be able to accomplish?" he says.

The Grape, a small eatery, has been in operation for more than 30 years. Its burger, has also been named the best burger in the state by Texas Monthly. That is a feather in Luscher's cap, for sure, but the chef isn't one for resting on his laurels. "I like to say, I'm very happy where I'm at but I'm not satisfied. I'm looking forward to pushing ourselves."

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José Ralat Maldonado