Erik Niel

Easy Bistro, Chattanooga, TN

In May 2005, Erik Neil opened Easy Bistro & Bar in downtown Chattanooga, named after his laidback nature and nickname, “Easy”. Seafood has always been a main focus for the restaurant drawing on his Louisiana roots and love for quality catch. To Erik, food is ephemeral and he’s inspired by the instant gratification cooking provides. “Each time I make something, it’s an opportunity to enhance upon it, and by the time it’s good, it’s time to change it…food is meant to be destroyed. The biggest compliment I can receive is that there is nothing left.” He describes his food as minimalist, letting the ingredients stand for themselves with little manipulation. Erik also spearheads the wine program at Easy Bistro & Bar with a wine list containing 250 global wines.