Chef Eric Bartholomew Revamps La Cocina Menu to Bring Diners Something Super Fresh and New
Chef Eric Bartholomew, Executive Chef for La Cocina Mexican Grill & Bar in Seacrest Beach, FL was recently brought in from Colorado to take La Cocina to a new level. Eric says the new menu is “inspired by traditional Latin American ingredients and flavors with a coastal twist.” Eric has a long history with traditional Latin American cooking and it really shows here. The new menu will focus on a more upscale feel where guests can expect fresh ingredients. 100% of the seafood served at La Cocina will be locally caught, grass fed beef will be used and Chef Eric will be sourcing produce from local farmers. He says, “the menu will be lighter and fresh, not the typical Mexican dishes”. Guests will see more sharable plates so families who visit can try a lot more of the menu while dining at La Cocina. The new menu will also offer gluten free options. Highlights from the menu will include a Fresh Tamale Entree made in house fresh every day, Pork Belly Tacos and Steak Tacos being prepared authentically, which is really unique for the area, and a fresh fish entree featuring a rotating catch to provide guests with the freshest seafood available. There will be eight different tacos served individually so guests can mix and match. An interesting dish not seen anywhere in South Walton is the Blistered Shishito Peppers, traditional Latin American pepper, locally called a Patron Pepper or the “Gambling pepper” because one in every ten peppers will be hot while most of them are mild. The pepper will be cooked on high heat with oil and salt and served with a sweet guajilla-honey glaze. Most of La Cocina’s crowd favorites will carry over to the new menu such as the enchiladas, burritos, fajitas and quesadillas.
Eric hails from Huntsville, Alabama and began his cooking adventure at the local Marriott at age 16. He brings a strong and impressive knowledge of Latin, Asian, Southern regional cuisines to La Cocina. His previous experience was with the Tag Restaurant Group in Denver, CO as Executive Chef for the Los Chignons (a Latin concept). Prior to his tenure in Denver, Eric worked as head chef at Babalu Tacos and Tapas where he led menu development and new store openings around the country.
Now firmly planted on the Florida panhandle and living on the Gulf Coast Eric gets a chance to forge relationships with local fishermen and farmers and provide sustainably raised products. On a personal note, living on the gulf allows him to pursue fly fishing, his biggest hobby, and enjoy family time in the sun with wife Hillary, daughters Isabella and Violet, and son Sawyer.
About La Cocina:
La Cocina is a Latin-inspired restaurant, featuring both specialty dishes with a Latin flair as well as classic tex-mex cuisine. Nestled between Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach, in Seacrest Beach, the friendly staff offers some of the best drinks along 30A, including house-made mojitos, sangria, and a selection of fresh squeezed lime margaritas. La Cocina is always voted as one of South Walton‘s hot spots for Mexican cuisine. All dishes are prepared from scratch using the freshest ingredients available.
Special Contribution to 30a Food & Wine. Photos courtesy of La Cocina Mexican Grill & Bar