LUKE ROGERS IS GOING BIGGER, BADDER…NOW!
by Andrew Chalk
Luke Rogers has left the Cathedral (Bistro that is) and struck out on the biggest challenge of his professional career.
He is now Director of Culinary and an equity partner at the Madewell Companies. The company was co-founded by Joon Choe as a real estate development company. He remains principal, and hospitality is set to become a bigger part of the company’s calling card. Currently, the company owns Public Taco in Preston Royal Village, Ghost Kitchen Brands, and a catering division. But the aim is growth. Choe trained at the Culinary Institute of America and opened two poké restaurants in the Dallas area during that craze, so he knows the business. Now he is relying on Luke Rogers to re-envision Public Taco as Public Taco by Luke Rogers so that he can 3D print it over the nation.
Check out this menu!
All tacos with the option of corn tortilla, flour tortilla or double decker with cheese +2
Barbacoa Birria (3)
chipotle braised beef, cheese, onion, cilantro
Japanese crispy chicken, spicy aioli, pickled peppers
slow cooked pork, pineapple pico de gallo
Pollo a La Plancha
grilled chicken, twice fried potatoes, pickled onion, chimichurri
Shrimp, cheese, pineapple pico de gallo, spicy aioli
grilled beef, guacamole, onion, cilantro
Adobo chile rubbed pork, pineapple pico de gallo, cilantro
Market fish, Cabbage slaw, pickled peppers, cotija, chimichurri
Twice fried potatoes, chimichurri, queso fresco, avocado, pickled onion
organic refried black beans, mozzarella, onion, cilantro
Chicharron de Cerdo
Crispy pork belly, garlic mojo, pickled onions
In an interview, Rogers gave me some insight into what makes a Luke Rogers restaurant.
“We slow-braise our barbacoa de birria taco, and all of our meats are marinated and cooked to perfection with love. We will be using hand made tortillas for all of our tacos, and I have aspirations to make all of our tortillas in house.
We have unique menu items outside of tacos, like the Vela de Manteca, it's a beef tallow candle, originally created by me when we participated in a guest chef wine dinner at the opening of the hotel Vin!
I will be pulling menu items with Latin American influence including Venezuelan, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Argentinian, and Peruvian!”
“Our vision for the food is to have sharable plates, and tacos. We want you to come either on your own for a quick lunch, or spend your afternoon and evening here, trying different items, all at fair prices with good portions, imagine having a table full of tacos, meatballs, flautas, guacamole with house made plantain chips, ceviche of shrimp and yellowfin tuna, carpaccio of Spanish octopus, hatch green chili queso, arroz chaufa! and then finish your meal with Yaniqueques, a Dominican Johnny cake, served on the beaches there, it's the size of your head, and tossed in cinnamon sugar, with ice cream and dulce de Leche on top!"
And for those looking for adult beverages “We are also focusing on our bar program, to be serving classic cocktails with consistency, and exciting unique cocktails as well and at a fair price point.”
And what will the atmosphere be like? “I am elevating the restaurant to be exciting, fun, a party! We plan to have live music or a DJ on the weekend evenings.”
Right now the scene is pandemonium as the furnishings are upgraded. They are revamping the interior with new chairs, tables, lighting, greenery, “...but we are maintaining the beautiful open air feeling here, with our glass windows. We will be updating our patio as well with greenery, new chairs and tables, and make it weather proof for all seasons!”.
And Public Taco is just the start. Rogers is coy about details but says Madewell has big plans for the future. Who knows, maybe he could find himself cooking Italian again?
Public Taco by Luke Rogers launches on February 1st!