Celeb Chefs Step In To Support RJ Cooper, Rogue 24

While chef RJ Cooper is on the mend from open heart surgery in a few weeks, he's turning his restaurant Rogue 24 over to some very capable friends.

An impressive roster of celebrity chefs from around the country, including José Andrés and Bryan Voltaggio, are stepping in to support Rogue during Cooper's recovery. The guest chef series, dubbed "Rogue Sessions," will run from Jan. 10 to mid March, with each chef taking over the kitchen for one week.

Cooper will donate a portion of the sales from each ticket to Share Our Strength, an organization he has worked with for years.

Tickets to the dinners will be available exclusively as part of an upcoming Gilt City DC sale that I'm curating (more juicy details on that soon!). Also partnering to bring the sessions together are Gilt City’s chief lifestyle adviser Lee Schrager, founder of the Food Network’s South Beach and New York Food & Wine Festivals and the Food Network’s CityEats.

Here's how the Rogue Sessions will work:
Chefs will be announced and seats sold a week in advance on Gilt City for $185 per person.The price includes the 24-course dinner featuring 12 of the visiting chef’s dishes and 12 Rogue 24 favorites with wine and cocktail pairings by acclaimed bartender Derek Brown and beverage director JP Fetherston.

The Rogue Sessions line-up (with dates to be announced):

Bryan Voltaggio of VOLT, the new Lunchbox, and Top Chef. Tickets go on sale Monday, Jan. 2 for the week of Jan. 10-14.

José Andrés, chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup and 2011 James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef

• Tim Byres, chef and owner of SMOKE Restaurant in Dallas

• Jennifer Carroll, chef and owner of Carroll Couture Cuisine, formerly of 10Arts by Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin, and season 6 of Top Chef

John Currence, chef and owner of City Grocery Restaurant Group, 2009 James Beard winner for Best Chef South, and season 3 of Top Chef Masters

• Scott Drewno, chef of Wolfgang Puck’s The Source and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s 2010 Chef of the Year

• Katsuya Fukushima, chef and owner of Daikaya, opening in 2012, formerly of minibar and Café Atlantico

• Spike Gjerde, chef and owner of Baltimore's Woodberry Kitchen

• Nancy Oakes, chef and owner of San Francisco's Boulevard, James Beard winner for Best Chef California

• David Posey
, chef of Chicago's 4-star Blackbird and formerly of Alinea

"It’s in trying times that you appreciate the people you’ve surrounded yourself with," Cooper says. "Chefs have always come together to support each oth er, whether borrowing tools, sharing techniques or supporting worthy causes. This is a natural extension of that support and I'm truly humbled and grateful for these very talented chefs."