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Chef Eric Williams of Momocho Mod Mex: The Man Behind the Masks

Restaurateur Eric Williams has enough titles under his belt to rival the luchadores (Spanish for Mexican wrestlers) memorialized on the walls of his two Mod Mex eateries: Momocho (Latin slang for "hellion little boy") in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood and El Carnicero (which means "the butcher" in Spanish) in nearby Lakewood.

A non-Latino who shies away from eating spicy food may seem an unlikely hawker of taquitos and tamales, but the folks at the James Beard Foundation disagree. A two-time nominee for Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region, Williams claimed the Best Chef honors in Cleveland Scene Magazine's 2015 awards.

Last night, Williams completed as a finalist on Guy's Grocery Games for a chance to double the $16,000 prize he took home in the semi-final round with his signature Pork Chop Al Carbon topped with Oaxacan Chocolate Mole. We met with Williams in advance of his appearance to learn about the many facets of his fast-paced life behind the scenes.

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