Acqua chef RJ Cooper aims for ‘dining adventure’ for seafood lovers


Ah, the cooking lifestyle: Chef RJ Cooper will tell you that, for “just a child from Detroit” it’s been a heckuva journey.

His profession has taken him from Anchorage Alaska to New York Town. In 2004, he landed at Jeffrey Buben’s lauded restaurant Vidalia in Washington, D.C., exactly where he acquired terrific acclaim — a Increasing Chef award in 2006 and James Beard Finest Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2007.

Cooper produced his Nashville debut six yrs in the past at Henley, the place he released, amid other items, The Rabbit Gap, his multi-coursed tasting knowledge. In 2019, he released his possess idea, Saint Stephen, in Germantown. Not long ago he took more than the different 2,000-sq.-foot place at the back again of the restaurant, previously occupied by Tailor, and opened Acqua.

Chef RJ Cooper of Acqua is at the helm of Saint Stephen and Acqua in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood.

Was coming to Nashville fundamentally a perform-pushed selection?

No. I’d visited Nashville a number of occasions ahead of going right here. I constantly definitely appreciated it. There is great energy listed here. Perception of local community. I was prepared to leave D.C. and felt like this would be a good put to elevate our twins.

To start with seem: RJ Cooper debuts Italian seafood restaurant Acqua

Let’s speak about each of your restaurants. How did you get there at the thought for Saint Stephen and afterwards, for Acqua?

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