Samantha Wasser, co-founder of the international vegan fast-casual chain By Chloe, just opened a new Middle Eastern restaurant called Dez, which is short for desert.
The chef at Dez is Eden Grinshpan, star of the Cooking Channel show “Eden Eats.”
The food served at Dez has some very personal touches. “[The food] is exactly the way [Eden] would prepare it for you if you came to her home,” founder Sam Wasser said.
By Chloe, a vegan fast-casual chain, has become an international success since opening in 2015. The chain now has 10 stores, including a new location in London, where another is on the way.
By Chloe co-founder Samantha Wasser recently opened her latest fast-casual spot, which is in collaboration with chef Eden Grinshpan, who hosts the Cooking Channel’s “Eden Eats.” Called Dez, short for desert, the restaurant serves up a mix of Middle Eastern food, including dishes like Moroccan lamb meatballs, harissa curry shakshuka, and falafel cauliflower pita.
Though Grinshpan had been sitting on the concept for a couple of years, the idea to open a restaurant came about after she hosted a pop-up in Brooklyn. She received so many positive responses that within weeks, she was meeting with Esquared Hospitality, which also operates By Chloe.
The menu at Dez took more than two years to come together. The prices are relatively low, with meze costing $6 and salads priced at $11.
Grinshpan, who is half-Israeli, said the Middle Eastern concept hits close to home.
“The food that I’m cooking at Dez, every dish has a story,” she told Business Insider. “You get Persian influence, you get Moroccan influence, you get so many different cultures that you can see sprinkled in throughout the entire menu. Nothing is super traditional.”
While this is Grinshpan’s first restaurant, Wasser is clearly no stranger to the fast-casual industry. The hope is to appeal to millennials in much the same way that By Chloe does, and to eventually grow Dez’s presence elsewhere.
“What I love about the fast-casual industry right now is that it’s pretty much designed for me and my peers, and millennials as well, where people want delicious food that is well-sourced and well-curated in a high designed space. And that’s kind of where fast food is lacking,” she said.
We recently went to Dez to see what it was all about. Here’s what it was like:
SEE ALSO: This chain wants to be the McDonald’s of vegan fast food — here’s what it’s like to eat there
Dez is located in Soho, just around the corner from By Chloe.
It was pretty busy considering that it had only been open for two hours when I visited.
There were colorful decorations and plants throughout the interior, and a cardboard camel decorated with flowers sat in the front of the restaurant. While designing Dez, Wasser placed an emphasis on creating a well-designed space. “I think more people are going to be paying attention to the setting and the packaging. People want to have fun when they’re eating,” …read more
Source:: Business Insider