There are not many chefs in the world who we know by just their first names. Jean-Georges is one. And he is coming to the Charlottesville area.
Keswick Hall announced today that world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will oversee the property’s culinary operations when it reopens next year. The restaurant, Keswick Hall says, will be the focal point of the property’s extensive renovation. Best known for the New York restaurant bearing his name, the Alsatian born chef now oversees close to forty restaurants, and has become one of the most decorated chefs alive, with more than a dozen James Beard Foundation awards or nominations. “I love creating inspiring new restaurant concepts and menus,” says Jean-Georges, “and am excited to be partnering with Keswick Hall to bring my vision for this beautiful luxury hotel to life.”
Co-owner Jason Becton says that the bakery was not actively seeking a second location, but that an opportunity fell into their lap that just felt right. A recent re-design and downsize of Roxie Daisy left a next-door space that checked all of the boxes: “It is not too big, has charm, and is just off of the mall,” says Becton. The offshoot will serve MarieBette’s bread and pastries, with an increased emphasis on coffee, to fuel downtown workers and residents. Unlike MarieBette, itself, there will not be restaurant table service at the offshoot, but there will still be seating, as well as breakfast and lunch items, which customers may eat-in or take to-go. With Roxie Daisy and The Flat right next door, Becton says, the corner of Water Street is becoming “a little French-inspired enclave.”
People ask where they can find Collaboration 29, the new limited release IPA from Reason Beer for which demand has seemed to exceed supply. The answers are few. Beer Run, Kardinal Hall, Reason, and now . . . the Executive Mansion of the Governor of Virginia.
Home to Virginia’s governors since 1813, the Executive Mansion is the nation’s oldest governor residence. From its origins, the mansion boasted a separate cookhouse, smokehouse, and ice house, but it was not until 2014 that it added a kegerator, thanks to beer-loving Governor Terry McAuliffe, who then passed it to his successor. “Governor McAuliffe very generously donated the kegerator to the Executive Mansion,” said Governor Ralph Northam, “although it is probably no surprise that we are not getting quite as much use out of it as he did.” That said, the kegerator does not sit idle. “We continue to demonstrate Virginia’s commitment to the craft beverage industry by offering guests to the Mansion draft beer from a Virginia brewery,” said Northam.
As of today, that beer is Collaboration 29. A tribute to Charlottesville itself and named after The Charlottesville 29, Reason calls the beer a “a juicy, tropical love letter to our home town, brewed in partnership with Beer Run, Murphy & Rude, Kardinal Hall and The Charlottesville 29.” Governor Northam saw it as an ideal fit. “I like that this particular beer represents a collaboration among the men and women who work in the food and beverage scene that makes Charlottesville such a great place to live,” said Governor Northam.
And so, just hours after belting a grand slam in his summer softball league, Governor Northam celebrated today by welcoming Collaboration 29 and its contributors to the Mansion. For Reason, there were Mark Fulton, Jeff Raileanu, and Devon Callan. For Kardinal Hall and Beer Run, there were John Woodriff and Justin Castelhano. And, for Murphy & Rude, there was Jeff Bloem.
(L to R) Devon Callan, Jeff Raileanu, Jeff Bloem, Justin Castelhano, Governor Ralph Northam, John Woodriff, and Mark Fulton
“We knew we were putting together a great beer with great partners, but we never thought it would make it this far!” said Reason brewer Mark Fulton. “We were honored to meet Governor Northam and look forward to his continued support of our industry.” Congratulations to Reason and the collaborators, and also to Governor Northam and staff for having such a delicious beer on tap.
While brewery collaborations are often just one-offs, there is word that the great demand for Collaboration 29 could persuade Reason to make it again. And again. Stay tuned.