I had dinner at Chef’s Club with my friend Dana Cowin. Dana decided that after two decades at Food and Wine where she reigned as the Editor in Chief for years it was time for a new challenge. Chef’s Club is lucky to have her. Her deep knowledge of the food industry and media is the perfect fit. Chef’s Club is a new kind of restaurant where the greatest chef’s from around the world can come to collaborate, be imaginative and be refreshed.
Not only is the restaurant beautiful I walked out of there thinking this is a new platform just like Food and Wine was a platform for chefs for years but in print. There is so much content out there on the web around food, travel, etc that it is getting more difficult for old school publications to come up with new ways to build an audience on the web from paper outside of advertising. Chef’s Club is taking those conversations, the new recipes, events, classes and putting it in brick and mortar as a place to connect. The concept is that there will be Chef Club’s around the globe where the food community and others who are interested in that community can connect. People in food work 80 hours a week so although they all know of each other they rarely get a chance to meet each other around a kitchen.
Journee is taking a different approach with a club for conversation in the industry. They bring in people to have conversations, wine experts to do a tasting that is then taped and more moving forward. Super smart. Both of these concepts are part of the future of this industry.
Dinner was delicious. We began with the pizza of the night. Ricotta, tomato sauce and duck proscuitto.
Johnny Cake by Chef Linton Hopkins. A thin johnny cake topped with pieces of barbecued pork belly and then covered with cole slaw and creamed corn. The crunch of the slaw mixed with the buttery pork and the cake to sop up the sauces was really good.
Salmon crudo by Chef Erik Anderson. Thinly sliced salmon topped with brown butter, dill and an egg yolk.
I had the lamb chops. A mixture of lamb. Two chops, lamb belly and spicy lamb sausage over thinly sliced potatoes and artichokes. Not sure who the chef of this was but it was a really nice combo of flavors and ways that lamb can be done. The sausage was excellent.
Simply beef by Chef Erik Anderson. Slices of grilled beef with an onion glaze, bone marrow, vegetables and horseradish. Really loved the presentation here.
Dessert could not be missed. Triple layer chocolate sour cream cake with coffee ganache by Chef’s Cheryl and Griffith Day.
I always love the cheese plate. You can get three pieces or five. I don’t recall where the cheese were from but they were each so good.
Going back for sure. I particularly loved the large piece of pink salt hanging from the ceiling.
Journee is interesting. I recall they started as a Kickstarter project.Do they pay the wine experts?
Free is not really a price any of us charge 😉
I’m trying to understand the flow of value here. Who does what, who gets paid, who benefits…how does this work? what’s being re-thought here?
You and i both.It’s interesting but feels like a beta.I’m not really in the trade–can I join?And there is an unclear relationship between what wines they choose and sell. For example, not all educators get to choose the wines in their classes.If spite of it, there is something here.
Go for dinner. It’s about different chefs menus
Best advice I’ve had all day!One of my favorite things to do.
This is a super fantastic idea. Sort of like pop up chefs (if I understand the concept correctly). No question that this would work all over and that both patrons and chefs would embrace the concept.   And a great way to get repeat business in certain markets. Chefs are like artists and different artists have different ways of thinking and preparing. Same artist at a particular restaurant is creative in only their own way. I am also noting importantly that simply calling someone a celebrity chef in a market that doesn’t know that chef brings instant credibility. So it doesn’t even involve using the best celebrity chefs but only celebrated in some way chefs. There are plenty of those out there. As long as there are a few headliners (similar to stars in a movie) that’s enough to make it work. I am not however a fan of the name “Chefs Club”. I think it deprecates the idea and cheapens it. Better to brand under a unique and classy name rather than a name that explains the concept (in this particular case that’s what I feel in other cases it might work..)
Two of my good friends are amongst the wine educators–Sophie Barrett and Camille Riviere.Great people with a deep passion for wine.
Interesting. They are definitely rethinking this
These pictures are fantastic!!!!!!!! Thank you, Joanne! Going to try and make a sour cream chocolate cake!
Love the concept – would love it if they open in San Francisco