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Chef José Andrés Announces His First-Ever New York City Restaurant

Chef José Andrés Announces His First-Ever New York City Restaurant


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Chef Andrés will open a New York City location of his popular Los Angeles restaurant, The Bazaar, in the SLS Hotel

This will mark chef Andrés’ first foray into the New York City restaurant scene since he began his culinary career more than two decades ago.

Chef José Andrés, owner and executive chef at some of Washington D.C.’s most acclaimed restaurants (minibar, Jaleo) and well-known humanitarian, has just announced the 2016 opening of a New York location of The Bazaar, his renowned Los Angeles eatery.It will be his first-ever restaurant in New York City. The Bazaar will be located in the soon-to-be-opened SLS New York hotel on Park Avenue South in the Kips Bay area. This is Andrés' first professional foray into the New York City area since he began his career. (Andrés also owns a Bazaar in Miami and a Bazaar Meat in Vegas.)

"I'm incredibly excited to bring our Bazaar concept to New York, where I started the U.S. chapter of my career 24 years ago and a city I've long wanted to return to,” Andrés said. “The power and energy of New York are unlike anywhere else."

Although no further information is available about the upcoming restaurant, the announcement comes after chef Andrés pulled out of his contract with the upcoming Trump Hotel in Washington D.C. Chef Andres, who just became a U.S. citizen two years ago, cited Trump’s statements disparaging immigrants as his reason for dropping out.


José Andrés Turns D.C. and New York Restaurants into Community Kitchens

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, ThinkFoodGroup announced the restaurants would temporarily close and be repurposed.

José Andrés is one of the latest chefs to shutter his restaurants out of concern for coronavirus, or COVID-19, with many more following as official mandates take effect across the country.

On March 15, his restaurant group, ThinkFoodGroup, released a statement explaining that all restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area and New York City will temporarily close to help encourage social distancing. In the meantime, many of the restaurants will be re-purposed as community kitchens. Since the announcement, both New York City and Washington, D.C. have mandated the closure of all bars and restaurants.

“We are in a serious global emergency and people need to take every precaution, including staying home as much as possible,” Andrés said in a statement. “However, we also want to help provide food for those who want it in a safe manner, so we feel these community kitchens can help during this challenging time. And those who cannot afford to pay we will welcome as well.”

TFG employees will receive paid leave and current health benefits "for at least the first two weeks,” according to the announcement. As for the kitchens, they&aposre scheduled to open on March 17 and will be operated out of the restaurants&apos side doors. Volunteers will be on hand between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily to serve �ordable plates of the day” available for takeout—specific menus and pricing are still in the works, according to the ThinkFoodGroup team.

The following restaurants in D.C. will be converted into community kitchens: America Eats Tavern (Georgetown), Jaleo (Bethesda), Jaleo (Crystal City), Jaleo (Penn Quarter), Oyamel (Penn Quarter), and Zaytina (Penn Quarter). Beefsteak, Andrés’ fast-casual restaurant, will also convert to delivery-only at D.C.-area locations, while Pepe Food Truck in D.C. will remain open.

China Chilcano, however, will be fully closed, as it does not have enough outdoor space to operate a community kitchen. Minibar and barmini also shuttered after service ended on March 14—guests with existing reservations will be contacted to rebook and deposits will be refunded, according to the announcement. In New York, most of Mercado Little Little Spain at Hudson Yards will be closed except for Spanish Diner, which will operate a community kitchen from the glass garage doors. You can find more information available on ThinkFoodGroup’s website.


The Salon @ Ford

Ford Foundation is one of the largest and most well-known charitable organizations in the United States, with a philanthropic history that stretches back more than eight decades. For an organization that is so entrenched in the public consciousness, the question then becomes: how do they attract fresh attention from younger groups of donors and activists alike? How do they reach beyond their usual network and patrons and gain fresh audiences?


A Stellar Wine Program at José Andrés' New Tasting Menu–Only Los Angeles Restaurant

Los Angeles will soon be home to another restaurant from chef José Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup. Somni—meaning "dream" in Catalan—is a 10-seat, 20-course tasting counter that will replace Andrés' Saam at the Bazaar in the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills on March 9. Andrés has 15 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners, including another outpost of the Bazaar in Miami Beach, Minibar in Washington, D.C., and four locations of Jaleo.

Somni's head sommelier, Brandon Miradi, believes the 170-selection wine list complements the creativity of the restaurant, which is helmed by chef Aitor Lozano. "The Somni experience is a 20-plus-course tasting menu that's evolving every second that you're sitting in that chair," he said. "As opposed to being married to one bottle, I want the bottles to evolve as your experience does." Miradi offers an entire page of half-bottles, as well as three wine-pairing options to accompany the tasting menu.

Somni focuses on Spanish wines, from Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat and other regions. But the list also has strengths in California and France, including blue-chip Bordeaux like a Château Latour Pauillac 1996 and bottles from small family-owned wineries like the Raen Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir 2015.

"I really tried to keep in mind José's vision of Somni and work with the great wines and regions that he has found to work so well with [his] and chef Aitor's cuisine," Miradi said.—B.G.

Fun Wine Promos at DB Bistro Moderne and Aureole in New York

Best of Award of Excellence winner DB Bistro Moderne in New York recently debuted a new "Friday Night Flight" series. A lineup of four wines will revolve around a theme every month, letting guests decide which wines come out on top in a match-up between two producers, regions or vintages. The cost ranges from $40 to $55 for four half-glasses.

"The spirit is participatory, where the guests are the judges of the contest," sommelier Josh MacGregor told Wine Spectator via email. "[It's] being able to explore a variety of 'what if' questions in the world of wine. What if the wines of Christophe Roumier and Frédéric Mugnier went head to head? Which village produces better white Burgundy: Chassagne-Montrachet or Meursault?"

Elsewhere in New York, Charlie Palmer's Best of Award of Excellence winner Aureole started a new free-corkage policy: Every night of the week after 8 p.m., and all evening on Mondays, wine lovers can bring bottles of their own free of charge.—V.S.

Now Open in Las Vegas: Scott Conant's Masso Osteria

Scott Conant, celebrity chef and the restaurateur behind Best of Award of Excellence winner Scarpetta in Miami, has a new restaurant in Las Vegas. Italian eatery Masso Osteria opened Feb. 16 in the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa. Located about 10 miles west of the Strip, Red Rock is also home to Best of Award of Excellence winner T-Bones Chophouse & Lounge.

"It's the culmination of my entire career," Conant said in a statement following the opening. "All of the things we're excelling at, products we've used over time or recipes we've tweaked and elevated—there are hints of sophistication, but at the same time there's an overall approachability to the space."

According to Masso Osteria sommelier Stephanie Cimino, who previously worked at Best of Award of Excellence winner Giada, the new restaurant's wine program is a departure from what guests might expect to find on the Strip. With roughly 300 selections—including nearly 30 by-the-glass options—the list focuses on Italian wines, supplemented by bottlings from France, California and Oregon, and highlighting popular producers and regions as well as lesser-known ones. A "sommelier's pick" section allows diners to sample higher-end wines in 1-ounce, 3-ounce or 6-ounce pours from an Enomatic automated wine dispenser.

Conant's menu of Italian favorites includes pasta al pomodoro, squid ink rigatoni, house-made stromboli and steak Fiorentina. A family-style chef's tasting menu is also available for $65 per person.—L.W.

Chef Leaves Aureole Las Vegas

Chef Johnny Church of Grand Award winner Aureole Las Vegas will leave his position this month. The restaurant has a 2,700-selection list overseen by Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino wine director Harley Carbery, with many strengths across California and France, as well as Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain and Australia.

Church will become Golden Entertainment's corporate executive chef and head of culinary development. The group owns Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, which includes Top of the World Restaurant, the Award of Excellence winner that revolves 360 degrees every 80 minutes. Aureole has not yet announced a replacement.—J.H.

Eat and Drink Argentina with Winemaker Laura Catena at the Greenbrier

On March 9 and 10, the historic Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Va.,—whose Main Dining Room holds a Best of Award of Excellence—will host Laura Catena of Bodega Catena Zapata for the resort's first-ever Argentina Wine Weekend.

Greenbrier's beverage director Brian McClure told Wine Spectator that this event, inspired by a trip he took to Argentina two years ago, is a way to introduce guests to the country's wines. "Laura [is] such a powerful personality, such an amazing person … It's going to be great," he said.


LALIGA NORTH AMERICA AND CHEF JOSÉ ANDRÉS’ THINKFOODGROUP EXPAND PARTNERSHIP NAMING JALEO ‘THE HOME OF LALIGA IN WASHINGTON, DC’

LaLiga North America continues to expand its presence in key growth markets across the United States in partnership with Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup. After naming Mercado Little Spain ‘The Home of LaLiga in New York’, LaLiga North America and José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup are announcing an expansion of their partnership, naming Jaleo ‘The Home of LaLiga in Washington DC .‘ Mercado Little Spain will continue to be ‘The Home of LaLiga in New York,’ showing games at Spanish Diner, the all-day restaurant located there.

When possible, given current health, safety, and distancing protocols, both Jaleo DC and Jaleo Crystal City, as well as Spanish Diner, will show all live LaLiga games and host special events for fans, including appearances from LaLiga legends, special menus, and giveaways. The partnership demonstrates ThinkFoodGroup and LaLiga North America’s commitment to elevate the passion for Spanish culture, food, and soccer in the United States.

Understanding that there will be some fans that prefer to watch the games at home but want to live the same unique experience, LaLiga North America will be doing sweepstakes and merchandise giveaways for guests in both cities. For every take-out order, guests can win a LaLiga Jersey or a LaLiga official ball every weekend during LaLiga Season 20/21.

“LaLiga North America’s first year at Mercado Little Spain exceeded all of our expectations, creating an atmosphere unlike any in the sports world,” said LaLiga North America CEO Boris Gartner. “Fútbol fans and lovers of Spanish culture feel like they are transported to Spain when they enter ‘The Home of LaLiga’. This is as close you can get in the US to a true Spanish experience with the best food and the best soccer.”

All 19-20 season LaLiga matches were shown at Spanish Diner, attracting New Yorkers and visitors alike. Fans of all ages and backgrounds experienced Spanish culture together, while watching the best league in the world. The experience has created a destination for local soccer fans who visit Mercado Little Spain on a weekly basis for matches.

“Fútbol has always been a big, big part of my life, along with many Spaniards and more and more Americans every year,” said José Andrés. “Our partnership with LaLiga will give a meeting place to all of us – American, Spanish, everyone – who want to enjoy the greatest sport on Earth.”

The experience at Mercado Little Spain has attracted new fans to LaLiga by connecting with those interested in food and lifestyle. The intersection of these verticals trends with changes in the sports industry. Organizations can no longer focus solely on the product on the field. Teams and leagues are finding ways to authentically engage outside of their own industry to bring in new fans. LaLiga has achieve this through this partnership.


Chef José Andrés to turn his restaurants into gourmet pack-and-gos during coronavirus outbreak

Chef José Andrés is possible one of the best humans out there right now. On Tuesday, March 18, the Spanish chef’s nonprofit announced that they would be transforming several of his critically acclaimed restaurants in New York City and Washington DC into gourmet soup kitchens. The World Central Kitchen made their announcement via their official social media account. In the post, they shared, “WCK #ChefsForAmerica update: Starting tomorrow, we're working with @mikeblake1922 to distribute fresh, individually packaged grab-and-go meals to families in need in The Bronx! Locations listed below & more info available at wck.org/news/thebronx #BuildingABetterBronx.”

The World Central Kitchen shared on their website that they will be partnership with Bronx Assemblymember Michael Blake of the 79th District on this initiative. “As the immediate and ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States continues to evolve, World Central Kitchen is working to identify needs across the country and how to respond most effectively. Beginning Tuesday, March 17, in partnership with Bronx Assemblymember Michael Blake of the 79th District, WCK will distribute thousands of fresh, individually packaged grab-and-go meals to local families,” the WCK detailed on their official website.

They continued, “These meals will be available to anyone in the area who needs extra support during this uncertain time. Using our expertise as a food logistics organization, we will be distributing meals at the designated sites listed below during lunchtime. They will be individually-packed fresh meals, ready to heat at home.”

The Good News Movement social media account (a journalist-run account for good news) reported that the to-go only meals will be $7 for those who can afford the food, and will be free for those who can’t.

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The Cult-Favorite Wood-Fired Grills Taking the Restaurant World by Storm

The grill looked like a burned match. Ben Eisendrath , president of the manufacturer Grillworks , was astounded. The Argentinian-style wood-burning grill was top of the line, yet it had only taken chef Dan Barber and his team at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York a few years to completely destroy it. It was an inauspicious beginning for Grillworks’ first foray into selling grills to restaurants after decades of serving as the ultimate home grill. It turned out that those residential grills—not even the largest, most muscular ones—could withstand the beating that equipment gets in a restaurant kitchen.

But it was no matter. Eisendrath was at Blue Hill on that day in January 2012, not to inspect the melted steel of Barber's grill, but to replace it with Grillworks' first-ever commercial grill: the Infierno 96 , a 1,624-pound monster with a central fire station flanked by adjustable grills. Grillworks and the team at Blue Hill at Stone Barns had been collaborating on the Infierno's design for the past couple of years as Blue Hill's 2008-manufactured grill rapidly deteriorated. Barber was the first chef to use a Grillworks grill in his restaurant—and now he would be the first to use an Infierno, the rig that would catapult Grillworks from a cult favorite among home grillers to cult favorite among famous restaurateurs. José Andrés has one. So does Sean Brock . Tom Colicchio has one in Vegas, and Danny Meyer's Manhattan newcomer Marta sports an Infierno, too.

The grill at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Photo: Jonathan Young

Now, after more than 30 years in business, Grillworks can be found in about 100 restaurants around the world , a list which Eisendrath says is just ramping up. But as the company continues to invade restaurant kitchens, it hasn’t forgotten where its roots lie: in American backyards.

From a Hobby to a Cult Favorite

At its most basic, a Grillworks grill is a freestanding stainless steel wood-fired grill with a grill surface made of V-shaped slates that are slanted slightly downward to direct run-off fat and juices into a basting pan rather than onto the coals. A crank wheel adjusts the height of the grill surface over the coals, while a fire cage holds most of the heat behind the grill surface. It's up to the griller to decide when and how to rake the hot coals underneath the meat.

Andrés—who has a professional-grade Grillworks grill at home alongside a smoker from Texas and grill/oven combination from Spanish manufacturer Josper, an epic home grill set-up if there ever was one—explains that the v-slats and the adjustable height are Grillworks' main appeal. They allow a cook to control the heat of the fire, while collecting juices for basting or sauces, and, as a result, the meat takes on the pure flavor of wood smoking rather than the charcoal flavor of a flat-top grill. The wood is a more refined flavor, Andrés argues, adding, “Until you work with something like this, you cannot know what a grill is ."

The grill at José Andrés' Bazaar Meat in Las Vegas

And Grillworks grills have only gotten bigger and badder over time. In the late 1970s, Charles Eisendrath , a professor at the University of Michigan, started building grills as a hobby. Eisendrath had fallen for this South American style of grill years earlier while working in Argentina as a foreign correspondent for Time magazine. Upon returning to Michigan to teach, Eisendrath tinkered each summer break and eventually built his own version in 1978, which he called The Grillery .

Though Charles Eisendrath obtained a patent for The Grillery in 1982, building grills remained a hobby for him. Legend has it that anyone interested in buying one of the grills needed to know whom to ask first, and Charles Eisendrath explained to the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1988 that he purposely left his phone number unlisted. “We thought if people were serious, they would write us a letter, or just find us,” he said.

But Charles Eisendrath wrote letters describing The Grillery to food journalists such as R.W. Apple and James Beard . Beard responded, procuring one for his home. And where James Beard went, anyone who was serious about cooking followed. The small backyard grill would capture the attention of fanatics across the country for more than a decade.

The grill at Michael Chiarello's Coqueta in San Francisco. Photo: Grillworks

Roaring Out of the Shadows

It took a second incarnation for Grillworks to become the force it is in restaurants. In the late 1990s, Charles Eisendrath started to wind the business down. “He’d never intended it to be anything but a hobby,” says his son Ben. Charles slowly sold off the few grills that remained in storage, and Grillworks essentially went out of existence for about five years. Until a 2005 family fishing trip in Argentina changed everything.

On that trip, Charles struck up a conversation with another grill manufacturer, who wanted to buy The Grillery’s design. That’s when Ben Eisendrath realized he didn’t want just anyone to take over The Grillery. He wanted to take over for his father. So over the next couple of years, he left his tech job at AOL, obtained the hand drawings for the two grill models, and found some new manufacturers. He sold his first grill in April 2007 and started thinking about building newer, bigger models.

A year later, Eisendrath received a call from Dan Barber, the chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Barber had become interested in this style of grilling on a trip to Spain, and he convinced Eisendrath to give commercial sales a try. Blue Hill’s first Grillworks grill was the Dual 54 Asador , the largest residential grill that the company had to offer. But the steel began to wear down within six months, and by 2010 it needed repairs. Barber wasn't particularly happy about that, he says, but more importantly, neither was Eisendrath, who came out right away to patch up the grill. Together, they decided it was time to create something entirely new, the Infierno 96.

Grillworks president Ben Eisendrath with the staff of Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Photo: Grillworks

In Barber's experience, cooks often have to make compromises in their cooking due to the design of their kitchen equipment. But, he says, "The beauty of working with a guy like Ben is he works the other way." Eisendrath frequently dined at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and spent considerable time learning about Barber's cooking style, which includes burying proteins in house-made coal that burns at extreme temperatures. Barber uses the grill for broiling and baking, too. "I never get that kind of attention from anyone," Barber says. And Eisendrath incorporated all of those observations into the design for the Infierno 96, an unprecedented level of customization. "That enabled us to somewhat perfect what we were after, and I owe [Eisendrath] so much for that," Barber says.

The grill at Jose Garces' Rural Society in Washington, DC. Photo: Grillworks

Ablaze in the Restaurant World

Word of that grill got around the chef community. Greg Denton and his wife Gabrielle Quinonez Denton were on the verge of opening Ox , a grill-focused South American-influenced restaurant in Portland, Oregon, when he read about Barber's grill. Denton had been looking online at some Italian grill models, and his contractors were recommending a Woodstone grill. But Grillworks was the only one that had exactly what he needed: durability, the v-channel slats, drip pans in front, and the ability to adjust the height of the grill top and even split it apart. It also had to look impressive —this grill was going to be the focus of the restaurant, after all—so Denton wanted the crank wheels facing more imposingly to the front.

Greg Denton mans the grill at Ox in Portland, OR. Photo: Ox

As Barber's experience had proven, that customization was possible with Grillworks. Though the company sells set models, it's also constantly tweaking and updating its designs based on feedback from chefs. The goal, Eisendrath says, is to build something indestructible. And so the grills keep getting bigger and sturdier. There’s the side-by-side triple rig that Jose Garces has in his Washington, DC restaurant Rural Society , or the modular Infierno 154 at Tom Colicchio's forthcoming Miami restaurant Beachcraft that Denton describes as "the Rolls-Royce" of grills with a central fire station, four modular grilling stations, and capacity for a 48-inch rotisserie.

Grillworks' Infierno 154 at Beachcraft. Photo: Grillworks

But fire destroys everything. Eisendrath acknowledges that no matter how tough he makes his grills, they’re going to break. That’s why customization and service remains an important part of the Grillworks business model. He’ll send staff out to make repairs on existing grills, and each year the company incorporates tweaks and improvements into its designs, whether it be a higher finish quality on the grill surface or a stronger cable system for the crank wheels. Eisendrath says he’s used to fielding 3 a.m. text messages from chefs with design inspiration. "They're very open to ideas," Denton says. "Ben loves good ideas." Barber agrees. "Ben is incredible," he says. "He's a chef's chef."

(Customization does have its limits, though. Actor Matthew McConaughey suggested that Grillworks add a hood to the grill as a safety precaution—he wanted to keep his child away from open flames—but Eisendrath rejected it. The grill wouldn't work quite right that way, he said. McConaughey bought the grill anyway.)

The grill at Seamus Mullen's Tertulia in New York City. Photo: Grillworks

Business Is on Fire

As a result, restaurant business is brisk for Grillworks, with a 50 percent increase in sales each year since 2008. Today, between 60 and 70 percent of the company’s brainpower is working on developing tougher restaurant models. And those professional improvements trickle down to the home grills.

The Architectural built-in grill. Photo: Grillworks

Residential grills. Left: The Grillworks 20 ($3,275). Right: The Grillworks Dual 54 CRE ($13,975). Photos: Grillworks.

Eisendrath notes that whenever Grillworks discovers a better solution for its professional grills—say a better hand crank—the company incorporates those changes into the design of The Grillery and the other eight residential grills that still comprise half of Grillworks' overall sales. “Now the direction has flipped,” Eisendrath writes in an email. “Our experience with ambitious chefs. feeds the evolution of our home grills.”

Of course, the average non-celebrity home griller isn’t likely to go in for Grillworks’ residential grills, which start at $3,275 for an unadorned version of the original Grillery and extend up to $13,975 for a 54-inch grill with independent surfaces and a rotisserie. But Barber argues that there's true value in Grillworks grills, which he says are extraordinarily tough—tough enough to eventually be passed onto a home cook's next generation of grillers. Andrés agrees. "Any person that is a Sunday griller should have one," says Andrés. "Obviously they're not cheap, but it's something that's going to last your lifetime."


First look: Disney Springs' Jaleo restaurant with Chef Jose Andres

Chef Jose Andres has quite a resume, including a string of successful restaurants and philanthropic endeavors that landed him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. He’s a veteran of the Spanish navy. He was awarded a National Humanities Medal at the White House in 2016. And now he’s achieved a long-simmering goal: To have a Spanish restaurant at Walt Disney World. His Jaleo opened this week at Disney Springs.

Here’s what we learned about Andres, his career and the new Jaleo during chats with the chef, fresh off a flight from New York, during an event at the new restaurant Thursday.

• Andres’ desire to have a restaurant at Disney dates to his youth, back to the early days of Epcot. He was disappointed to read that there was no Spain pavilion at the theme park. “OK, the French can have a great restaurant in Disney. Why can Spain not?” He says he later looked into the idea of opening at Epcot, but it was complicated by being a government partnership. And even more years later, the Disney Springs opportunity arrived. “You wait and you persist and things happen,” he said.

• The exterior design of the restaurant, in the West Side section of Disney Springs, is meant to resemble an artichoke. Andres hired architect Juli Capella of Capella Garcia Arquitectura. “He is a very good friend … who has done already with me a few projects,” Andres said. “He’s an architect. At the same time he’s one of the best interior designers. He knows everything about the Spanish pop culture and pop art. He was the right guy to do this.”


José Andrés and his nonprofit aim to reopen hundreds of restaurants while feeding needy people

As restaurateurs wait to see whether they qualify for small-business loans, as independent operators continue to lobby Congress to save their dying industry, as the White House convenes an economic council that includes several celebrity chefs, World Central Kitchen and its high-profile founder, José Andrés, have launched a pilot program that will feed vulnerable communities across the country while also helping hundreds of restaurants by reopening their kitchens.

Part of its Chefs for America relief operation, World Central Kitchen’s new program promises to pay the costs to prepare 1 million meals at more than 400 restaurants nationwide, which are among the hundreds of thousands of independent eateries that have been devastated by the coronavirus outbreak. According to a recent James Beard Foundation survey of more than 1,400 owners of mostly independent restaurants, operators have, on average, laid off 91 percent of their hourly workforce and nearly 70 percent of their salaried employees. These workers are, quite likely, among the 22 million people who have filed for unemployment insurance, representing a level of job loss not seen since the Great Depression.

WCK’s program hopes not only to provide jobs to some of the unemployed hospitality workers, but also to feed those people who have lost their paychecks or who are otherwise vulnerable during the pandemic. The Washington-based organization has hired workers in covid-19 hot spots, from New York City to New Orleans to the San Francisco Bay area, to identify communities in the greatest need of food: homeless people, low-income families, children without access to school meals, seniors who don’t feel safe venturing outside their front doors. WCK is also coordinating with delivery services, such as Uber Eats and Postmates, to bring hot meals to these communities.


Ann Cashion

Cashion is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and she graduated from Harvard University in 1976. [1] She enrolled in graduate school at Stanford University for two years before dropping out to pursue a culinary career, starting in a bakery in Berkeley, California. [2] She apprenticed in Italy and France before coming to Washington, D.C. in 1984. [3] Cashion worked at Restaurant Nora, was head chef at Austin Grill, and was executive chef at Jaleo, where she hired José Andrés. [2]

In 1995, she opened her own restaurant, Cashion's Eat Place, in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of D.C. [4] The restaurant was voted "Best New Restaurant" by the readership of Gourmet and was listed in The Washington Post food columnist Phyllis Richman's 50 favorites. [1] [5] Eat Place had many prominent patrons, including chefs Jean-Louis Palladin and Ferran Adrià, and President Bill Clinton. [2] [6] In 1997, Ann Cashion was honored as the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington's "Chef of the Year," [1] [5] and she was invited to cook at the James Beard House. [7]

With partner John Fulchino, Cashion opened a second restaurant, Johnny's Half Shell, in 1999. [2] The small 35-seat restaurant in the Dupont Circle neighborhood was recognized by Gourmet as one of “America’s best new restaurants.” [2] [5] In 2004, Cashion won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. [1] [8]

Cashion and Fulchino sold Cashion's Eat Place in 2007 to two of its longtime employees, after which it continued to operate under the same name until 2016, when it closed. [2] [9] [10] [11]

Johnny's Half Shell relocated to the Capitol Hill neighborhood in 2006 the new space could seat over 400, and it became a popular restaurant for Congressional fundraisers. [2] In 2007, Cashion opened Taqueria Nacional next-door to Half Shell, and Bon Appétit named it one of the five best Mexican restaurants in the United States. [5] Taqueria moved to the Logan Circle neighborhood in 2013, and Johnny's Half Shell moved to Adams Morgan in 2016, taking over the space originally occupied by Cashion's Eat Place. [2] [5] Taqueria opened in Mount Pleasant in 2019, and the Logan Circle location closed in 2020. [12] [13] Johnny's Half Shell closed in 2020, when indoor dining was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [13]


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