Well, the second location of Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City is now open. Somehow, in spite of the drama surrounding delayed millwork and my crazy family, we opened the restaurant. We literally spent the night before the opening party installing millwork, rearranging the kitchen, hanging signage, yelling at each other, and praying that the last few pieces of millwork would show up the next morning. What you didn't see was the chaos of the next day; we installed the final pieces of woodwork as the inspectors walked in to give us all of the necessary OKs and permits to open up for business. We had the go-ahead merely two hours before our opening party was slated to start. Basically, it was a huge risk. If one thing was out of whack and we failed our inspections, we would have been screwed. We had over 400 people show up for our opening party -- what would we have told them?
The party killed it. We rolled out the red carpet in Crystal City. My boy Josh Madden came down from NYC to DJ. The second you heard his beats through the sound system, the party was rocking. My friends and family came together to eat good food and drink lots of champagne. We couldn’t ask for anything better.
This is just the beginning for Good Stuff Eatery. We have a new team of young guys that have joined the company. Right after we opened, I flew down to Miami for a weekend. I met my boy Max down there at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival while he was running Burger Bash a few years back. I asked him to move up to D.C. to run the restaurant, and he brought his best friend Darrell with him. Between Ryan, Max, and Darrell, we have an unstoppable team. With them in place, my family is ready to start expanding nationally. We now have a smart, ambitious group of people in place who all have strong culinary backgrounds. They can carry out my family's dream of spreading the Good Stuff.
Meeting up with Richard, Jen, and Fabio in Texas was great. I’m a huge supporter of the First Lady, and having a forum like that to demonstrate my dedication to LetsMove.org was amazing. I love showing young students that healthy eating is fun. When you get kids involved in the kitchen, they really listen. Engagement and participation are essential to helping kids understand the value behind cooking and eating well. Even though the First Lady said that we all won, let’s face it, Jen and I had the winning dish.