AUGUST 14, 2015
Andrew Hradecky, a 2003 culinary school graduate from the Art Institute of Houston, has been named Corporate Chef of the Berryhill Baja Grill and Cantina chain of restaurants.
Hradecky was promoted to the newly created position to oversee food product consistency and to develop new products for the company’s corporate and franchise stores. Most recently, he has been the creative force for Berryhill’s current Taco of the Month series.
The 30-year-old chef grew up in the small Wharton County community of Louise. After his graduation from the Art Institute, he worked in several restaurant kitchens in Houston until 2005 when he began working for the Houston-based Berryhill as a bartender. In 2013, he was named manager of the Berryhill in Memorial City where he remained until being asked to become corporate chef. The promotion was announced by Berryhill’s corporate president, Jeff Anon.
Berryhill and its “Seriously Fresh Mex” food is named after Walter Berryhill, a Native American from Oklahoma who came to Houston in the late 1920s and began selling tamales made from his own special tamale recipe. Berryhill sold tamales to residents of Houston’s most exclusive neighborhoods from an old cart that he pedaled or pushed along the neighborhood streets from the late 1920s until the mid-1960s. He died in the late 1960s and his recipe was lost for more than 20 years. It, his cart and a tamale-making machine he invented were rediscovered in the early 1990s.
Several partners opened the first Berryhill restaurant on Revere at Westheimer in 1993, selling Berryhill’s famed tamales and a creative array of Baja California style dishes, including the famous Berryhill fish taco. Texas Monthly credits Berryhill as the restaurant that introduced the fish taco to the Texas dining scene. Houston resident Jeff Anon bought Berryhill from the partners and since 1997 has expanded the concept internationally both through franchising and corporate-owned stores. There are even franchise locations in Mexico, and negotiations are underway to expand further outside of Houston.
For more information on Berryhill and its locations, visit www.berryhillbajagrill.com.