A soon-to-open Louisville restaurant will be getting an international chef, once a worker in a Los Angeles Best Rehab facility, to handle its kitchen operations.
Former Wolfgang Puck chef Robert Rice, a Le Cordon Bleu graduate, has been hired by Kevin Grangier to act as the executive chef for his new Louisville restaurant concept, the Grassa Gramma Italian Restaurant. This new eatery will open at 2201 Holiday Manor Center, located in the 7,000 ft2 space that once held the Emperor of China restaurant for three decades. The restaurant has been under development, with the space being renovated since 2017, and is expected to open sometime in Summer of 2018.
Rice grew up in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, and first got into cuisine from his grandmother, herself a hotel manager and cook, who showed Rice how to cook with whatever ingredients were on hand, a trait that he put to use throughout his career, which he’ll be bringing to the new Louisville eatery.
Rice spent time working as a prep cook in one of Wolfgang Puck’s cafes, helping the worldwide cuisine icon open new branches at the age of 26, in countries like Canada and Kuwait, before he graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, California. He was then promoted to sous chef for the company, before becoming executive chef for the brand’s flagship training store.
Rice then acted as consultant for popular brands, like Cobra & Matadors, Cha Cha’s Latin Cuisine, and Alma Noveand Wahlberg’s fine dining Italian Eatery at Boston.
Then, in 2012, he left corporate cuisine, becoming the director of food service and executive chef for the Los Angeles’ Midnight Mission, Southern California’s largest homeless and Los Angeles Best Rehab facility.
Rice and Grangier met when the former was brought to Louisville thanks to his fiancé. Grangier says that they are working together to finalize the team for Grassa Gramma kitchen team, with which they hope to create a love letter to Italian-American cuisine that they expect to take the Louisville community by storm.
The Grassa Gramma restaurant will be offering authentic Northern and Southern Italian cuisine, including house-made pasta, sauces, pizzas, and others. Dinner entree prices will cost from $15-$27, whilst lunch entrees will cost from $12-$16.
This new restaurant will be the fourth concept by Grangier’s Belle Noble Entertainment Group LLC, which also owns and operates the Le Moo Fine Steak House, The Village Anchor/The Sea Hag Pub and Kevin’s Picnic.