2020 Rising Star Community Chef Eric See of Ursula

2020 Rising Star Community Chef Eric See of Ursula
November 2020

Eric See thrived as a restaurant worker from a young age. At 11, he’d go to work with his father, who managed an airport in New Mexico. The chef of the airport diner had See cracking eggs and waiting tables. Everyone thought it was cute until they saw how much he was making in tips; a tip-share system quickly fell into place. See attended culinary school in Albuquerque but, through a table-waiting competition with SkillsUSA, won a scholarship to the New England Culinary Institute.

See interned at Locanda Verde with James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Karen DeMasco for almost a year. He went on to work at Bouley, Olivier Cheng Catering, The Core Club, Salume, and Mary Giuliani Catering + Events, where he has been pastry chef for seven years. In 2014, See founded The Awkward Scone, and one dish changed his career: the breakfast burrito. With a shortage of Southwestern cuisine nearby, New Yorkers latched on to See’s burritos packed with hash browns, eggs and green chile. 

The effects of COVID-19 forced See to shutter The Awkward Scone in June. Frustrated, See and his dog went on a road trip to New Mexico. But in the desert, he reconnected with his love of New Mexican food and had a “screw it” realization. He could start over. Thanks to the help of his devoted fanbase and the local Crown Heights restaurant community, See opened Ursula in September. 

This summer, he has been using his kitchen as a hub for relief work to serve meals and grocery kits to the Ali Forney Center and the Street Vendor Project. Passionate about combating food insecurity, he has also worked with Immigration Equality, The Center, Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders (SAGE), The Okra Project, and many others.