After a couple of delays, Chefs Club by Food & Wine is finally set to open this fall in the Puck Building at Houston and Mulberry Streets. As the name indicates, the venue is an ongoing supper club that draws in guest chefs from across the United States and beyond to come and cook for a while. The original Chefs Club opened two years ago in Aspen, attracting the likes of Jonathon Sawyer, Matt Lightner, Missy Robbins, and George Mendes; talent often overlaps with Food & Wine’s "Best New Chef" winners, and if the classes of 2013 and 2014 are any indication, this should all turn out pretty great, even more so considering the magazine’s honor is now in its 26th year.
Here’s how it works: Each guest chef signs on for a certain amount of time, either bringing some signature dishes from back home or creating new dishes for the à la carte menu. A couple of weeks of special dinners coincide with the launch of each new seasonal menu. In Soho, there will also be wine pairings devised by master sommelier Jonathan Pullis in collaboration with the magazine’s Ray Isle. Didier Elena, whose cooking garnered Alain Ducasse at the Essex House four stars from the Times back in 2001, serves as culinary director and oversees the kitchen through each menu change.
Dana Cowin, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, chose four young chefs for the New York launch: Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, who won Best New Chef in 2005; Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland, Oregon (2007); Linton Hopkins, of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta (2009); and Erik Anderson, formerly of the Catbird Seat in Nashville (2012).
David Rockwell designed the dining room, which has 120 seats. Expect concrete, walnut, and finishes of black steel and leather to complement the cast iron columns throughout the space. The restaurant is on the ground floor of the historic building, and is expected to announce full details for its first four visiting chefs in the next few weeks. Once it gets rolling, Chefs Club will be open seven days a week.