Young and Hungry

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

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