The level of detail and precision that Eric brought to his audio career carried over to his conceptualization of his first restaurant, Filé Gumbo Bar. First, selecting Tribeca was a thoughtful choice, a neighborhood where Creole and Cajun cuisine is certainly not found on every corner. Second, Cajun and Creole cuisine may have Southern roots but are still two unique cuisines, with their own cultural significance. Melding these two cuisines together in New York City brings a sophisticated intersectionality that the 21st century restaurant landscape continues to crave. And third, Chef Eric McCree created a beautiful viewing environment at Filé, allowing guests to surround the open kitchen to watch cooks combine the flavors of many cultures into a delicious menu.
His signature dish is Tiny's Gumbo, a recipe that requires patience while the flavors develop. Filé is ground sassafras leaves first used by Choctaw Indians. When the Cajuns first arrived in Louisiana, they used file as a thickener in gumbo. The menu also speaks to Creole influences, like the Spicy Shrimp Creole, which incorporates tomatoes, a staple of Creole stew not found in Cajun stew. Even though these dishes may incorporate different ingredients and techniques, what they share is their authenticity to their culture. Chef Eric shows the power of taking a dish and making it your own, based on your background, your influences, and even your own taste buds.