Having trained under Wolfgang Puck, Eric Ripert, David Burke and Alain Ducasse and educated at the Culinary Institute of America and University of Florida, Elizabeth Arana’s resume impressed the owners of River & Post. Once they tasted her cooking they were convinced she was the right fit. Arana will start in July 2017 as the Executive Chef of the soon-to-open Riverside restaurant, which will open in the Fall.Arana will lead the culinary process for River & Post, initially managing the kitchen design and service processes. In addition to being responsible for the menu and its preparation, Arana will oversee the entire kitchen staff. No stranger to executive culinary management, Arana has lead teams at the Alexandria, Provence and Alphabet Kitchen restaurants in New York City as well as working directly under Executive Chef Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in Monaco, France. Arana has extensive experience in various cooking styles cuisines. She was featured on the Food Network’s Door Knock Dinners with Gordon Elliot as well as Latina Magazine, The New York Daily News, New York Magazine, Time Out New York and listed in Zagats.
Said General Manager and owner Jeff McCusker of Arana, “Her qualifications spoke for themselves, but what sold us was simply her ability to cook.” To make a final decision on their Executive Chef selection, McCusker and co-owner Robert Fleckenstein, along with their advisory board, hosted several candidates for a menu tasting. McCusker stated, “The words that kept repeating themselves among our panel of tasters were ‘captivating,’ ‘thoughtful’ and “inspiring,’ not words typically assigned to food. When we think of the brand we are trying to create at River & Post, with an incredible rooftop view and a modern vibe, there wasn’t even a second pick. Elizabeth wowed us all.”
Hiring an Executive Chef was the next big step for River & Post, which began construction in April and plans to open in the fall of 2017. “The vision for River & Post is incredible,” said Arana. “I cannot wait to come to work and have the view of Jacksonville’s colorful skyline as my office. We will create something special in Riverside, a true destination restaurant that I am confident will draw from other parts of town as well as other parts of the southeast. Jacksonville is a growing culinary city, and I want to be on that must-visit list for foodies and people just looking to relax and enjoy a great meal with a great view.”
River & Post will soon be hosting interviews for servers, managers, kitchen and bar staff and interested parties can contact the restaurant HERE.
About River & Post: River & Post is a restaurant and rooftop lounge opening in the fall of 2017. This upscale casual restaurant will bring a trendy environment, great food and breathtaking river city views to Riverside. It will be located in the newly renovated Summit building, located at 1000 Riverside, on the corner of Post St. Jeff McCusker is the managing partner and Bob Fleckenstein is the investing partner. The menu will be seafood- and steak-focused Southern American cuisine. The floor plan calls for pet-friendly patio dining space downstairs, as well as being a premier location for meetings and private events. River and Post will also feature ample parking, a rare commodity in Riverside.