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RH Regional Powerhouses

2014 RH 25: Rocket Farm Restaurants

The best and brightest restaurant companies are not just creating one great concept; they're creating many. See Restaurant Hospitality's picks for powerful multiconcept companies that not only play it cool, they kick ass. See all concepts >>

Chef/owner Ford Fry


Annual Sales: N/A

Units: 5

Key Personnel:
• Ford Fry, chef/owner
• Drew Belline, creative director and executive chef of No. 246
• Adam Evans, executive director of The Optimist
• Joseph Schafer, executive chef of King & Duke
• Craig Richards, executive chef of St. Cecilia
• E.J. Hodgkinson, executive chef of JCT Kitchen & Bar

• JCT Kitchen & Bar (Southern-style cooking with fried chicken)
• The Optimist (a classic seafood experience)
• No. 246 (rustic Italian)
• King & Duke (seasonal American cooking in a 24-foot open hearth)
• St. Cecilia (coastal European food)

• Supica (a casual “Mex-Tex” spot with a wood-burning grill and live music)
• El Felix (a Mexican-inspired restaurant)
• A restaurant in Houston to open next year

WHY IT’S COOL: Ford Fry is a chef’s chef. The guy can cook your socks off and he loves working with others who can do the same. It’s why he recruits the best chefs possible and builds a concept and menu around that talent. It takes confidence to embrace talent that rivals your own, and Fry has no shortage of it. The payback is great neighborhood restaurants with terrific, bold, in-your-face food. He’s not about showing off talent, though, he’s about showing off the wonder of ingredients. He’s a disciple of farm-to-table and an advocate of great service to back it up. The world would be a better place if every neighborhood had itself a Ford Fry restaurant. Esquire concurs, giving both The Optimist and King & Duke nods for Best New Restaurants.

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