Today The Wall Street Journal profiles Animal and Son of a Gun chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook. There’s some interesting insight into how their dishes are conceived, but the story hardly holds a candle to that killer New Yorker story that found Mario Batali screaming “fuck” a lot over five plates of duck heart at Animal. Still, it does shine a little light on the friends’ working relationship, showing how these two distinct dudes form like Voltron to max out the city’s threshold for things meaty. Even though the toques say they never disagree over dishes and seem to be embracing the whole “Two Dudes” moniker (or maybe it’s just The WSJ that’s fixated on this name), it turns out they’ve got kind of a yin-yang thing at play.
Vinny, who concentrates on dish development, is reluctant to answer the phone, refuses to do T.V., and questions whether he really wants to expand beyond Son of a Gun. Can we call him the quiet one?
Meanwhile, Jon (the cute one?) leads the restaurants’ operations, is typically glued to his cell phone, and says, “I hope to have five restaurants…by the time I’m 35.” Well, that’s great news! This means that someday (and someday soon, considering Shook is just 30), we may be seeing just One Dude running the show at a new Two Dudes restaurant, though we suspect Dotolo can help with the menu from wherever he goes to shy away from the limelight.
UPDATE: In other Shook and Dotolo news, we see the chefs are judging Bombay Sapphire’s Most Inspired Bartender on August 1st from 1:00-5:00 P.M. at Drai’s.