Posts Tagged ‘RJ Cooper’

HEALTHY NEW YEAR

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

How 15 DC chefs and bartenders battled the bulge and made the world a healthier place
By Francine Cohen

Beet radish

Just as ubiquitous as the seasonal songs you hear in every holiday commercial this time of year is the rush for predictions, charitable donations, and resolutions that will surely make your world, and the world, a better place in the new year. 2014 will be no different.

There will always be plenty of ways that you, as hospitality industry leaders, will be asked to give. And let’s be honest, it gets a bit redundant. But it doesn’t have to be the same old same old. You probably feel like Chef RJ Cooper (www.rogue24.com) does as he remarks, “The dine around pass food over a table formula is tired, old and just cramped. A new concept of making mobile kitchens in venues so chefs can cook for 3 tables of 10 etc. would be much more fun.”

No reason you can’t have fun while doing good. Maybe this is the year it happens and you’ll be inspired to take a page out of the book of some Washington, DC based chefs and bartenders who found fun and healthy living through charity work in 2013. Last year, while supporting the American Cancer Society by co-chairing the Society’s annual signature culinary, wine and spirits event, Taste of Hope (www.tasteofhopedc.org), the Restaurateur/chef Mike Isabella (www.graffiatodc.com) rallied 15 Washington, D.C. chefs and mixologists for the inaugural Fit for Hope weight loss challenge.

The 12-week challenge kicked off on June 24th and culminated on September 24th at Taste of Hope. According to the Society, the latest recommendations for adults call for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, or an equivalent combination, preferably spread throughout the week.

Faced with an invitation to support a new (to DC) charity event they turned what could have been just another “let me show up and park myself behind a white tablecloth draped 6 ft. long table and hand out food and drink while smiling and promoting my restaurant/bar” experience into something much more personally meaningful- for them and the charity they supported. While dropping pounds, each participating chef and mixologist was also charged with raising a minimum $2,500 during the 12 weeks and many turned to

Read the rest of this entry »

Critical Distance: The New Rules For Restaurant Reviews—There Are No Rules

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

This story by Chris Shott (www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/youngandhungry/2011/07/27/critical-distance-the-new-rules-for-restaurant-reviews-there-are-no-rules) appeared on www.washingtoncitypaper.com and is a thoughtful piece by about reviewing restaurants.

Akin to our story which ran a few months back (insidefandb.com/2011/04/to-judge-or-not-to-judge-2/), the question still remains, when is it fair to review a restaurant? And what are restaurateurs, chefs, and publicists doing to change the landscape and the entire equation in this age of “new” media?

Bottom line folks, there’s no whining in baseball! Let’s work together.

TO JUDGE OR NOT TO JUDGE?

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

What’s fair game to reveal in a review of a restaurant’s opening night?
By Francine Cohen

It seems this was a bonus week for New Yorker diners. First up, The Dutch. Chef Andrew Carmellini’s much awaited Soho restaurant that opened with a savory late night menu and compelling cocktail list to satisfy the hordes of hungry fooodsters (some of whom are even bold-print names, but there’s no need to go there). So many showed up for The Dutch’s opening nights that the dining room at midnight was buzzing so loudly it might as well have been high noon on the playground. www.thedutchnyc.com

Then, on Wednesday, April 27th, LTO www.ltonyc.com debuted its former Broadway East restaurant space as pop-up restaurant/chef incubator.

The first one in whites to step behind the stoves downtown was James Beard award-winning RJ Cooper; noted DC-based chef and Iron Chef contestant. Later this spring or early summer Cooper will be opening up his 52-seat prix fixe menu restaurant, Rogue 24.

To be completely candid, INSIDE F&B was there for Rogue 24’s dinner as the restaurant’s guest. And, while we encountered some bumpy service, giggles over utensils, a few dishes we didn’t love as much as the langoustines or the foraged Shenandoah greens, and it became a meal that was paced quite a bit slower than we had anticipated, we took it in stride; understanding that this was the first night they were open. We had expected the kinks and walked in knowing we might be more than welcome guests, we’d possibly be called upon to be willing guinea pigs. And that’s okay. In fact, we think it’s terrific. We’re always more than happy to get behind the scenes, see the wheels in motion and help steer the ship however we can.

Which leads us to wonder just when you think it’s okay for journalists and bloggers to start publicly releasing their critiques of a new restaurant.

Read the rest of this entry »