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All Manner of Famous Chefs Will Be Filling in For RJ Cooper at Rogue 24 Next Month

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We learned last month that chef RJ Cooper would be taking a break from Rogue 24 while undergoing open-heart surgery in January. At the time, co-owner Hilda Staples suggested they might get a more experienced chef like Bryan Voltaggio to step in as needed. Well. That's nice and all, but how about Voltaggio plus José Andrés, Scott Drewno, Katsuya Fukushima and a slew of famous chefs from around the country such as James Beard-winning John Currence, David Posey of Chicago's Blackbird and Woodberry Kitchen's Spike Gjerde? That, friends, would be Rogue 24's plan for dealing with a tough situation.

All these chefs and more will be filling in for Cooper during the 10 weeks he expects to be in recovery — what the restaurant is calling the "Rogue Sessions." They'll be announcing specific dates for each substitute chef and selling seats one week ahead of time via Gilt City and CityEats for the 24-course meal that is going for $185 and will include 12 dishes from the visiting chef, 12 of Rogue's own dishes and wine and cocktail pairings.

Voltaggio takes the first shift beginning on January 10, and please note that your last chance to dine with Cooper before his surgery will be on New Years Eve. Here's the press release with a full list of guest chefs:

The press release:

Celebrity Chefs Rally Around Rogue 24 for Rogue Sessions, as Chef/Owner RJ Cooper Faces Open Heart Surgery

Rogue 24, Gilt City D.C., and the Food Network’s CityEats Launch Rogue Sessions, kicking off January 10th, 2012.

D.C.’s James Beard Award-winning Chef RJ Cooper will be forced to step away from his brand new restaurant Rogue 24 in January to undergo open-heart surgery to correct a genetic heart defect known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which could be life-threatening if not treated.

In his place, ten of RJ Cooper’s friends, and some of the nation’s most exciting chefs, will each take over Rogue 24 for a week during Rogue Sessions, including former Top Chef contestant Bryan Voltaggio and 2011 James Beard Oustanding Chef, José Andrés. The sessions will go from January 10th to March 17th, 2012.

Gilt City Insider Amanda McClements (of Metrocurean) and Gilt City’s Chief Lifestyle Advisor Lee Schrager, founder of the Food Network’s South Beach and New York Food & Wine Festivals, have put together Rogue Sessions in partnership with Gilt City D.C. and the Food Network’s CityEats.

Chef RJ Cooper says, "It’s in trying times that you appreciate the people you’ve surrounded yourself with. Chefs have always come together to support each other, whether borrowing tools, sharing techniques or supporting worthy causes. This is a natural extension of that support and I'm truly humbled and grateful for these very talented chefs."

Chefs will be announced and seats will be sold 1-week in advance exclusively on Gilt City for $185 per person.This includes the 24-course dinner featuring twelve of the visiting chef’s dishes and twelve Rogue 24 favorites with wine and cocktail pairings by celebrity bartender Derek Brown and Beverage Director JP Fetherston. There will be 250 seats available per week (50 per night). Reservations will be handled by CityEats.

Chef RJ Cooper will be donating a portion of each ticket to Share Our Strength, an organization he’s supported for 22 years, whose mission is to end childhood hunger in America.

The first session will feature Chef Bryan Voltaggio of VOLT and the newly opened Lunchbox. Tickets go on sale Monday, January 2nd for the week of January 10th-14th.

The roster of chefs include:

José Andrés (Washington, D.C.)
Chef/Owner of ThinkFoodGroup and 2011 James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef

Tim Byres (SMOKE - Dallas, TX)
Chef/Owner of SMOKE Restaurant in Dallas, featured in Food & Wine Magazine as having one of the Ten Best Restaurant Dishes in America (December 2010)

Jennifer Carroll (Philadelphia, PA)
Chef/Owner of Carroll Couture Cuisine, formerly of 10Arts by Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin, and season 6 of Top Chef

John Currence (Oxford, MS)
Chef/Owner of City Grocery Restaurant Group, 2009 James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef South, and season 3 of Top Chef Masters

Scott Drewno (Washington, D.C.)
Chef of Wolfgang Puck’s The Source and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s 2010 Chef of the Year

Katsuya Fukushima (Washington, D.C.)
Chef/Owner of the much anticipated Ramen restaurant Daikaya opening in 2012 and formerly of minibar and Café Atlantico

Spike Gjerde (Baltimore, MD)
Chef/Owner of Woodberry Kitchen and Baltimore’s preeminent Chef

Nancy Oakes (Boulevard - San Francisco, CA)
Chef/Owner of Boulevard, James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef California, and San Francisco’s most beloved Chef

David Posey (Chicago, IL)
Chef of 4-star restaurant Blackbird and formerly of Alinea

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Rogue 24

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