Not Fair! R.J. Cooper Criticizes the Early Criticism
Grub Street checks in with chef R.J. Cooper of the forthcoming D.C. eatery Rogue 24 as he finishes up his two-week-long "spring training" exercise in New York and asks a pointed question: Was it fair for the Washingtonian to review you on your first night?
Cooper was none too pleased, to put it mildly, about critic Todd Kliman's preliminary assessment when Young & Hungry showed up at the preview just two nights later. (Of course that could have been all the Red Bull talking.) Here, he offers a rather measured response to the Street's Daniel Maurer:
I think the food was some of the best I’ve produced in a long time. As for the whole Washingtonian thing being fair, it’s not. Why would you come in on the first day of a pop-up when people have never worked with each other and not come back to see what the changes have been? I don’t think that’s the spirit of journalism at all.
A Y&H alum, Kliman, who titled his write-up "a critic's preview," as opposed to a formal review, declined to comment on Cooper's comments.
Photo by Chris Shott