Table for Two: Dinner with a Chef – Jason Cooney

 My new series – Table for Two: Dinner with a Chef – is what it sounds like. I go to dinner with a Chef and we talk about food. I’m not going to have New York Times’ length interview here – just a quick snapshot of a Chef in the city and a restaurant that they choose.

God, it’s so great to be able to talk about the industry with someone who gets it. You can say things like “spider” or “cambro” and not have to explain yourself.


Jason Cooney, 26, was recently anointed Jr. Sous Chef at Woods Restaurant after having worked at esteemed joints such as Ruby Watchco and Mono Cliffs Inn. He is a young talented chef who can make everything from meringue to meatballs from scratch.

Jason thankfully told me about Dustin Gallagher doing Sunday night pork dinners at only $15 a plate at Acadia, and already a mad Gallagher fan (a former Sous Chef of Susur, he added great elegance at Grace, but blew me away with his fried chicken and cobb salad at Riverside), I was in.


We tucked into a tremendous Southern dinner of a slice of fresh watermelon to start, followed by succulent roast pork topped with pork skin, served with grilled corn on the cob and one of the best potato salads I’ve ever had. We even had some of their grape drank ($4) that apparently, the week before, had been made so strong, people were drunk within the first half hour. Our batch sadly, was on the milder side.

Jason is one of those people whose fun to be around, whether you’re standing at a crowded pass covered in flour or sitting in a restaurant on a warm summer night. He’s got awhile to go workin’ on the line, but mark my words, he’s going to have his own place one day.

As for Dustin’s food, I don’t know if his Sunday dinners will continue throughout the summer, but lucky for all of us, he’s staying on as Chef de Cuisine at Acadia, so you can eat his food anytime you like.

p.s.Are you a chef in the city? Want to go for dinner? Contact me.

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