Walking up 14th street the other day, I saw that Eatonville Restaurant to open on 14th and V, by the owners of Busboys and Poets, had/is having a competition to determine who will be the executive chef of the restaurant. The restaurant is an homage to Zora Neale Hurston, the writer who was good friends with Langston Hughes, who of course Busboys and Poets celebrates. Zora Neale Hurston grew up in Eatonville, FL, the first incorporated African-American town in the country.
Busboys and Poets, and the City Paper’s Young and Hungry blog have been chronicling the chef search. There have been three rounds, chronicled here, here, and here. The finalists were Trent Conry, Rusty Holman, Dennis Clark, Chris Newsome, Jacques Ford, and Jason Tepper. Top Chef finalist Carla Hall (a U street girl favorite), owner Andy Shallal, and Mike Curtin from DC Central Kitchen were the judges. Apparently a winner has been chosen but their name has not been announced yet, and will be announced at a later date in the City Paper. I’ll be sure to update once the chef’s name has been announced.
The restaurant is said to open in either April or May of this year. Should be exciting, another Southern soul-food focused restaurant in the area (will be interesting to see how it contrasts with the food at Next Door, and to a degree, Marvin).