Two New Culinary Team Members
Teddy Louloudes and Erik Walker to Bring Their Unique Flavor to Menus of
Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista Dockside Restaurants
Historic, waterfront restaurants, The Sandbar on Anna Maria Island, The Beach House on Bradenton Beach and Mar Vista on Longboat Key, are known for serving fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood, locally-sourced meats and their own Gamble Creek Farm produce. But many are surprised to see unique twists on these items on each of the restaurant’s ever-changing menus, which are a collaboration between owner, Ed Chiles and his talented team of chefs.
As Chiles’ continues his 35 year effort to make his operations match his locations, he is always searching for great culinary minds to join his team and bring new ideas and items to the table. He is proud to announce the hiring of two talented individuals who will help the restaurants continue to reinvent themselves and set the standard: Ted Louloudes, a Bradenton native who began working in The Sandbar’s kitchen at age fifteen, and Erik Walker, also a Florida native.
Louloudes’ family ties run deep in Manatee County. His parents owned a local favorite, Zorba’s, a place famous for their Greek salad. After earning a degree in Business Management from Florida State University, Louloudes moved to Napa Valley to attend the Culinary Institute of America where he worked in the school bakery. Upon finishing the twenty-one month culinary program, Louloudes moved to New York City, where he worked in several restaurants including Lafayette, a Grand Café and Bakery which had a bread program. After returning to island life eight months later, LouLoudes held positions at top area restaurants: Bern’s Steak House, Epicurean Hotel and SideBern’s restaurant. He also became involved with Chile’s farm, Gamble Creek, located in Parrish. Louloudes eventually moved back to Bradenton to spend more time on the farm: growing, harvesting and processing many of the products. He is now back in the kitchen of The Sandbar – where it all began. He lives to bake. His passion for baking is the driving force that has him showing up to the Sandbar kitchen at 4:00 am. These efforts are reflective on the lunch and dinner menus where rustic sourdough, brioche and focaccia are getting rave reviews. His homemade scones are wowing customers alongside dishes featuring Gamble Creek strawberry and tomato jams on the Sandbar Sunday Brunch menu.
Florida Native Erik Walker attended college for Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle in Daytona, and upon graduation, accepted a position in Los Angeles. As in engineer in L.A., he was afforded the luxury of exploring the LA food scene. Inspired, Walker quit his engineering job and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, where, between classes, he worked as a chef’s assistant. It was here he met Louloudes, who introduced him to Chiles. After graduation, Walker continued to follow his culinary dreams internationally in Southwest England at a Michelin starred restaurant under a renowned head chef. As his visa came to an end, Walker traveled to Spain and Japan for the sole purpose of food exploration. Walker then returned to Florida where he reconnected with Chiles and was brought on at the Chiles Restaurant Group. His long-term goal is to become a large part of Chiles’ initiative, to become certified “Green” restaurants.
“Both of these young men share both my passion for food and my vision for food-forward, locally-grown, edgy menu creativity,” said Chiles. “I’ve known both Ted and Erik for many years and am delighted they have returned home to join the Chiles team, dream up some new dishes and help me develop my concepts and reach my long-term goals.
Ted Louloudes is pictured first here, Erik Walker second.