Endless Questions: Chef R.J. Cooper on Iron Chef America and Magical Food Rides


You’d think since leaving Washington’s swanky, Southern restaurant Vidalia earlier this year, Chef R.J. Cooper would have plenty of time on his hands, but he’ll tell you that’s not the case. Over the past six months Cooper has been overseeing the construction of his new restaurant, Rogue 24, working with Chefs as Parents and throwing in a little reality TV. Cooper kicks off season 9 of Food Network’s Iron Chef America, challenging the newly minted winner of The Next Iron Chef America, Marc Forgione.

I chatted with Cooper about the pressures of Iron Chef America and the magical ride that is his new venture.

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ES Local: Four Tribeca Restaurants Worth the Tribeca Prices


We don’t make it to Tribeca restaurants all that often, because, well, our food blogger salary isn’t quite cut out for it (and we don’t mean the subway fare). But you can hardly live among the New York food scene without feeling the urge to splurge once in a while, and this downtown ‘hood is home to some of Manhattan’s trendiest (and priciest) dining scenes.  Here are four restaurants that make breaking the bank well worth it.

Corton: New York’s current restaurant critics’ darling gives the greenmarket-fueled locavore trend its highest upgrade yet. You may need a dictionary to decode the menu, which starts with wakame seaweed buttered bread and ends with sour plum/lemon verbana/fig clafoutis for dessert. The three-course prix fixe starts at $85. 239 W. Broadway.

Marc Forgione: Only a year-and-a-half old, this young, Michelin-star chef’s eponymous restaurant — previously known as Forge until a doppelganger Miami resto threatened to sue — has a more laid-back vibe than its longer-standing neighbors, but the food is no less refined. The always-changing menu focuses on local, seasonal ingredients in creative dishes like parsnip agnolotti with braised oxtail and black truffles. 134 Reade St.

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