Some chefs follow a straight trajectory in their pursuit of a career in the culinary world. Others see it almost as a calling, much like the clergy or politics. And then there are those who take a circuitous route never expecting to become chefs but, in fact, do. David LaRoche, the new chef at Cosmo Cafe, is of the latter group. Dave LaRocheAfter earning a degree in English Literature at UC Davis, he attended UC Sacramento in pursuit of a masters degree in poetry. He came to work for us in 1997 at Paragary’s Bar and Oven starting at the very bottom of the kitchen hierarchy where the only reading assignments are in the form of 3″ wide slips of paper spit from the kitchen printers with commands like “Fire two mixed greens, one with dressing on the side” and the only poetry is that which is inscribed on cocktail napkins and matchbook covers in the twilight of the evening. He was a fast learner. A young, eager to learn, studious cook with the quiet demeanor of an English professor. When we opened Twenty Eight, the 50 seat jewel box of a restaurant across the street, David jumped at the chance to try something new. He eventually worked his way up to the chef position where he and I spent hundreds of dinner services working side by side plating, saucing, and arranging each precious creation before it left the tiny, cramped kitchen. He did more stints in and outside the company before taking a sous chef position at, the slightly ahead of its time but damn good, Sammy Chu’s where he fully embraced the scope of the ambitious pan Asian food concept. No one worked harder than he to make that restaurant succeed. For the past two years, he’s been the chef at Paragary’s Bar and Oven where he has quietly and methodically continued to hone his craft. Somewhere between Richard Olney and someone’s Grandma Mildred lies David’s ability to create dishes that are comforting and familiar yet with enough technique applied to them to keep things interesting. In his new position at Cosmo, he aspires to maintain the high standards established by Scott Rose (Who is now at Esquire Grill. More on him soon.) and bring a new perspective and accessibility to the menu. If you step into Cosmo Cafe prior to service and hear the music of Leonard Cohen, Hank Williams Jr. III, or Nuclear Rabbit wafting from the kitchen, David is there, in his element. Say hello.
And the love story you ask? Roger Moore‘s new documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story” opens at the Crest Theater this Friday. Agree or disagree, Moore’s films are entertaining and thought provoking. And if you find yourself too worked up after the movie, why not stroll across the street to Cosmo and enjoy a calming beverage served by one of our expert mixologists. Cheers!
Posted on 10/28/2000 at 12:00:00 AM