Luke's Local Chefs: Featuring Eric Ehler

February 15, 2024

Luke's Local Chefs: Featuring Eric Ehler

Welcome to the first installment of "Luke's Local Chefs: Where Are They Now?" In this series, we delve into the journeys of some of the remarkable chefs who have collaborated with Luke's Local over the years. Join us as we explore what these culinary talents have been up to since their tenure at Luke's.

First up: Chef Eric Ehler!


What's your name, how long were you at Luke's Local, and what was your role when you were at Luke's Local?

My name is Eric Ehler. I worked at Luke's Local or with Luke's from about 2012 to about 2015. I was a guest chef, cook, and then I believe my final title was Culinary Director? Or maybe head chef! I can't remember.


Do you have any meals or recipes you still associate with your time at Luke's - whether it be something you loved to make or eat for family meal, or something that you cooked for meal boxes / the deli?

I think that everyone that came from my era of Luke's definitely has a deep connection with the chorizo breakfast burritos and kale salads. I think that time was really special because as we grew we were still able to make things with really niche ingredients and sourcing. Whenever I see a kale salad I think of waking up at the crack of dawn and packing kale salads.


Do you have any favorite memories or a funny story that comes to mind from your time at Luke's?

I was involved in the first days of the Fox Den and many shifts before as well. Those were different times! Let's just say I have a lot of stories. My favorite memories were of the small parties, dinners, and one of things we were able to do in the space. We had a beer collaboration dinner with Fort Point before Fort Point was a thing!


What have you been up to since you left Luke's? Have you continued cooking? In what capacity? Do you have other hobbies you've continued to enjoy since leaving Luke's?

I have had many jobs since leaving Luke's - all various chef and kitchen jobs. I really started to get back into skateboarding while I was at Luke's (skating in the parking lot!)


What's the best thing you've eaten in 2024 so far?

The salt and pepper fish with a side of loco moco from All Star Cafe on 9th Street in Soma.


What's your go-to thing to eat when you've had a long day and you just need something that will come together in under ten minutes?

Wok scrambled eggs, rice, and hot sauce. There is an almost certain chance there will be left over rice on hand at all times.


Describe your perfect deli sandwich.
Dutch Crunch, slightly toasted, mortadella, pastrami, turkey, mayo, razor thin shredded lettuce, a really good dill pickle, thinly sliced red onion (in rounds), perfectly ripe tomato with some olive oil and sea salt, lots of olive oil and red wine vinegar on the shreddy leddy, some black pepper on the lettuce as well.... No cheese :)


If you could give a home cook only one cooking "tip" what would it be? (For example, mine would be something Chef Paula taught me - to always season my salad greens dry, as well as of course seasoning the dressing - Thanks, Paula!)

Clean as you go and save your to-go containers for storage.


Thanks so much for chatting with us, Eric! You can find Eric on Instagram at @intheweedz or grab a pie or delicious sandwich from him at Outta Sight SF.

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