Turns out they’re right…you should listen to your mother. Or least your best friend’s mother. When 105 Noshery Executive Chef Eric Rocha was in sixth grade, his friend Tyler’s mom told him he was going to become a chef. He didn’t believe her, but the seed was planted. With a single working mom and brothers to feed, Eric was already a whiz in the kitchen, quickly learning how to prepare tasty and foolproof meals.

This talent took him to Eureka where, at the age of 18, he became executive chef of a local steakhouse. There, he learned how to properly butcher and marveled at one regular who ordered his weekly steak raw paired with a bottle of red wine.

The corporate world came calling and some big chains sent Eric on the road and tasked him with menu development and performance improvement. But after missing too many birthdays and holidays, he was ready to be home with his family and, as fate would have it, met Randy and Lisa. Five years ago, Eric joined the catering team and has thrived under Randy’s mentorship.

With Randy’s ‘old school’ sensibility and 50+ years of experience, the synergy between owner and chef is the backbone of our customer experience. The two trade tips and opinions and together they have created the new menu launching this month. With a net increase of 12 items, the menu amps up dinner with new beef cuts, a double-boned pork chop and creative daily fish specials to satisfy those that are already devotees of our breakfast and lunch offerings.

“I’m proud of my long-term relationships with our reps that ensure we receive the freshest ingredients possible. And with fish from the Delta, valley produce and Roseville Meats at our fingertips, this menu can’t be beat.”

A Texas native, Eric is an expert at the BBQ and grill (“There’s a difference.”), loves to share his Southern hospitality and strives for his customers’ and employees’ satisfaction. “I know they love the culture here – and the braised short ribs, French dip, crab cake benedict, and garlic shrimp! – and that’s why they stay. That’s something I learned from Randy and Lisa. If your employees are happy, your customers are happy. I’m a better chef today because of them.” 

Now a holiday die-hard, he was thrilled to spend some time with his family (their annual Nerf war was the highlight) and his yard may or may not be still covered with Christmas decorations. But now it’s back to work. After all, there’s a new menu to launch.

What he orders: “I could eat the French dip every day, but my waistline can’t handle it.”

What he drinks: “Strawberry rhubarb old fashioned, definitely. I’m a bourbon guy. It’s not too sweet so the bourbon really comes through.”

Chef Eric’s recipe for perfect bacon: Start with 250 pounds of pork belly. Cure it for ten days, let it tack for one, smoke for six hours, press it for 24, then slice. Render in oven, then move to flattop. “Our bacon is my style. We tasted several combinations of cure, tack and smoke time and this one is the perfect consistency for the thickness.”