Chef Johnny Spero of Michelin-Starred Reverie Kicks Off World Tour With Pop-Ups at Commis and Snail Bar in Oakland

Washington, DC chef Johnny Spero, as they say, makes lemonade out of lemonade. In this case, the “lemon” was the morning fire that broke out in his Michelin-starred Georgetown restaurant Reverie in August, forcing the fine dining spot to close its doors. for all times when the site is updating. “Lemonade”, a month-long world tour that takes the chef from California to Kyoto with stops in Maine and Seoul along the way. “We’re going to have one of the worst times of my life,” Spero said. “I feel like we’re moving too fast to want to stop. I don’t want to delay.”

The first and longest leg of the tour, which ends in May, will bring Spero and a small crew to Oakland, where they will cook alongside two Bay Area culinary talents. Area.

First, Spero — who brought Reverie’s executive chef and general manager on each leg of the tour — will visit the Michelin-starred Commission on Friday, January 27 and Saturday, January 28 for nights two of the meals were hosted by chef James Syhabout. Each chef will cook half of the courses on the dinner menu ($275, optional wine pairing $119). According to Spero, he and Syhabout first met through mutual friends in DC, and “has always inspired his work.” Next, Spero heads to Oakland’s Snail Bar to cook with Andres Giraldo Florez; the two cooked together at Mugaritz in Spain, and the relationship has remained constant over the years, Spero said. The Snail Bar dinner — dubbed “Homie’s Night” — will be held on Sunday, Jan. 29, and the appetizer menu ($125, $65 when paired) is shorter than the banquets at Commis.

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Budgets for all three events are still in flux, Spero said. But it’s not just about procrastination. Spero says the plan is to build on what he did at Reverie but to rotate the local ingredients, based on fresh ingredients when he arrives later this month. For example, Spero says he makes a dish using Jonah crab, Carolina golden rice, and miso; He might keep the golden orange rice but switch to local Dungeness crab. Likewise, for dessert, he uses Reverie’s fromage blanc mousse base and enhances it with seasonal ingredients like wild allspice and lemon verbena, to showcase what grows in the North. of California now.

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After leaving the Bay Area, Spero headed down the coast to Los Alamos for dinner with the teams at Bell’s and Bar Le Côté, then back to DC for just a week before the tour. of the international team in Seoul. Other stops include a stay in Portland, Maine, and a final trip to Kyoto. According to Spero, travel isn’t a way to keep Reverie busy with renovations — after all, the chef also has a wife, three kids, and a new Basque-themed restaurant on the way. plate – but there is also an opportunity to repeat it. -motivated and motivated before opening his flag. “The last two months have been really hectic months to work with,” Spero said. “I need inspiration, and I think working with like-minded people, that’s our goal – just to go out and have fun.”

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Spero, who also appeared on the Netflix cooking competition show the Final TableHe says he’s still thinking about a renovation menu for Reverie but hopes to have it open in several months. This time, he hopes that traveling and cooking in new places with familiar friends will help him bring the restaurant back stronger than ever. “The fire is cleaning up,” Spero said. “I can start over.”

Reservations for Reverie at Commis with Johnny Spero on January 27 and 28 are available via Axe; Reservations for Homie’s Night at the Snail Bar on January 29 are available through Res.


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