Phil Collins, the Brit chef who took over at Henry & Oscar's only three months ago, has packed his knives and decamped. Stepping into the hot seat is 33-year-old Remi DuBois, a former Ritz Carlton training chef whose task is to "provide leadership" for the Belltown supper club. DuBois has a catering company, Farmhouse Hospitality, and has also done turns in the kitchens of Salish Lodge and Bis on Main.
His new kitchen sports a picture of James Bond, not as a warning but because H&O's proprietors, Mark and Katie Stern, also own the booze-serving Big Picture theaters in Belltown and Redmond. "A restaurant should really be called a 'project' for its first year," Stern tells Cornichon. "I think I finally fell in love with the concept last week."
And what is that concept, exactly? Old-timey supper clubs, like Chicago's Pump Room, Noo Yawk's 21 Club and PDT. Delmonico's, long gone, where celebrities like Frank Sinatra would drop in. (At H&O, he's there in spirit, on the sound track.) Steak on the menu, to be sure, but meatloaf as well, plus the archetype of midwestern gastronomy (Stern's from Chicago): hot dogs.
"I like the classics," says Chef DuBois, citing Manhattan's Les Halles and Vancouver's Pied de Cochon as spots he admires. "You don't know where you're going unless you know where you've been."