R.J. Cooper is leaving Rogue 24, and plans to develop a new restaurant in North Carolina.
The chef sent a letter outlining details of his departure, which was forwarded to Eater D.C.
New Year is quickly approaching and it gives me the perfect opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months, celebrate accomplishments and mark the great achievements. It is also a time to look into the future, open doors to challenges and welcome exciting new adventures.
It is with mixed emotions that I announce that this New Years Eve will be my last service as the lead of Rogue 24. I will be offering two seatings 6:00 pm and 9:30 pm as my last Journey menu. The transition does not translate into me losing full creative control over the experience of Rogue 24, but instead means that I will not be managing it on a daily basis. Daily operations will be transferred to other partner until further legal settlement and discussions are finalized regarding the future of Rogue 24.
The note also says that Cooper plans to work with a major hotel company to develop a new restaurant concept in Charlotte, N.C.
I have been in the Washington DC culinary scene for nearly 17 years and the city has given me some of the greatest moments of my life that includes winning a James Beard Award establishing wonderful relationships with chefs, restaurant workers, owners and guests in the area, and most of all, starting a family, I am humbled by the many great relationships that have been provided to me.
I am especially humbled and thankful to Chef Jeff & Sallie Buben, Mike Nevarez and all the support teams of their empire for taking the risk and showing me how to truly be a chef.
To the team of Rogue 24 and its investors who let me create a unique dining experience, I am forever in your debt. Goodbye for now DC and thanks for all the memories.
Eater had reached out to the chef earlier when rumors of his impending departure surfaced. He declined to confirm them at that time.