In the Washingtonian's September issue, Shane Harris takes a look at Johnny Monis, the celebrated chef of Komi and Little Serow. The only problem, though, is that the press-averse Monis unsurprisingly did not grant an interview — and most of his friends and former employees were unwilling to talk, too. But here are eight people who did dish on Monis, including one who sounds like he regrets it:
1) Rogue 24's RJ Cooper
2) Former Washington Post critic Phyllis RIchman
3) Ray's the Steaks owner Michael Landrum
4) The Columbia Room and Passenger owner Derek Brown
5) King breadmaker of Marvelous Market and BreadLine Mark Furstenberg
6) Former Komi line cook Jeremiah del Sol
7) Photographer Scott Suchman
8) Monis' former employer Geoff Tracy of Chef Geoff's
Apparently, though, Cooper ended up regretting talking about Monis on the record, but much too late after telling Harris that he didn't think Monis has put his stamp on DC yet, adding: "I think he is a wonderful chef and a great leader in his restaurant. But to be celebrated by your community you need to support it."
The rest of the profile offers several other choice nuggets looking into Monis' family background, early days at Chef Geoff's, decision to turn Komi into the heightened experience that it is now. Plus a tale of a time he frightened the staff into thinking he was about to close the restaurant.