Chef Five Bites: RJ Cooper

Chef RJ Cooper joined Jeff Buben's Vidalia in 2004 and, by 2007, he had snagged the prestigious Best Chef Mid Atlantic award from the James Beard Foundation. The Detroit native's career before Vidalia included stints at New Heights and Toka Cafe in DC and Le Bernardin with chef Eric Ripert.

This weekend, Cooper is launching Vidalia "24," a new 24-course menu with drink pairings that will be available Fridays and Saturdays for up to six guests. The menu is $150 per person, which includes drinks. Call Vidalia at 202.659.1990 for reservations.

1. Meatloaf at The Majestic. Shannon Overmiller has changed my thinking of the staple.

2. Any duck at XO Taste, chef Joe Harran of Bistro Bis and my meeting spot to talk shop.

3. Cotton candy spring roll from José Andrés Catering with Ridgewells

4. Stuffed tagliatelle of foie gras and sweet onions at Vetri in Philadelphia. Marc Vetri is my favorite Italian cook in the country.

5. Any meal spent laughing and playing with food with my twin daughters.

Previous Chef Five Bites: Cathal Armstrong, Dani Arana, David Guas, Josh Short, Michel Richard, Haidar Karoum, Ryan Morgan, Shannon Overmiller, Anthony Chittum, Jonathan Krinn & Jon Mathieson, Victor Albisu, Vatche Benguian, John Snedden, Nicholas Stefanelli, Travis Olson, Brian Robinson, Cliff Wharton, Alex Bollinger, Massimo Fabbri, Daniel Bortnick, Rob Weland, Olivier Perret, Dennis Marron, Dean Gold, Mike Isabella, Bryan Voltaggio, Geoff Tracy, Bart Vandaele, Rodney Scruggs, Clayton Miller, Alex McCoy, Steve Mannino, Will Artley, Kyle Bailey & Tiffany MacIsaac, Santosh Tiptur, Barton Seaver, Glenn Babcock, Antonio Burrell, Claudio Pirollo and Mickael Cornu, Wesley Morton, Scott Drewno, Ellen and Todd Gray, Philippe Reininger, Tom Wellings, Adam Lippe, Allison Sosna, Barry Koslow, Polly Brown, Joe Palma