Chef Blake Rushing enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy in Orlando, Florida, in 2003. While in school, his first restaurant experience was at Wolfgang Pucks in Downtown Disney. To fulfill his degree, Blake completed a three-month internship in London at the world-famous Savoy Grill. The Savoy Grill launched Blake's real culinary education and proved to be an exciting start to his career.
After completing his internship at the Savoy, Blake moved back to the United States to graduate from Le Cordon Bleu and prepare for long term employment in London back at the Savoy. During Blake's time at the Savoy, the restaurant earned the highly sought after Michelin Star ranking. Two and half years into Blake's experience at The Savoy Grill, he was invited to help open restaurateur Gordon Ramsay’s first US restaurant in New York City as a Sous Chef. In 2007, less than one year after opening, Gordon Ramsey at the London in New York City earned two Michelin Stars.
In order to begin learning a different style of cooking, Blake moved from the Gordon Ramsey Company to Lumière in Vancouver, British Columbia. At Lumière, Blake was able to incorporate the use of West Coast flavors with his classic French style training. Daniel Boulud took it over shortly after his arrival and cooking alongside the great French chef was quit the treat.
Finally, missing life near his family in the paradise that is Pensacola, Florida, Blake decided to bring his career home. Blake's first venture in Pensacola was opening Elise, Coastal Dining. In less than three months, all of the restaurant's hard work paid off as Elise was recognized by the prestigious James Beard Foundation with a nomination for Best New Restaurant in the country. Also during Blake's time at Elise, he was featured in Southern Living magazine for his house cured bacon.
Blake's next project was to start his catering company, Spot On Catering. During this time, he also developed and opened his next restaurant concept called Type. The restaurant's menu changed monthly which allowed him to present a wide variety of dishes and new recipes to patrons.
When Blake and friends began talking about the development of what is now Union Public House, Blake quickly realized that the pub was an opportunity to bring something special to Pensacola. He chose to devote his time to UPH and eventually closed Type to focus solely on the new modern Southern pub.
Blake now spends his time and talent making UPH the best pub in Pensacola with his unique take on Southern pub dishes with a worldly modern twist. UPH will be relocating, down the street, to the East Garden District in 2023. The new home of UPH will feature and open kitchen and private chef’s table. Cheers!