Jes Gordon

Jes Gordon found her design kindred spirit in Janet.

on Jul 27, 2011

Is playing it safe in terms of design the way to beat out the competition? Does comfort rule over originality?

I have to preface this blog by saying that hands-down Janet Kim was my favorite chef on this season of Rocco’s Dinner Party. I think she might have read my book, Party Like a Rock Star!

You may be surprised that I am saying this, but Janet was the only chef that inspired me as a designer to go full throttle into her room without any fear or restrictions. She also mixed the inspiration of music with her design, instead of being so incredibly literal, like many of the chefs have been so far, in terms of props and measurements. She was also not food-oriented in terms of her design at all, which was certainly a pleasant change for me. Janet and I didn’t even discuss her dining table much in our consultation, or her food really. She was more intrigued by the entire room experience, which to me, makes up a true environmental design.  

As I sat next to this chill lady, I didn’t expect her to pull out terms like punk rock, Sid Vicious, Vivienne Westwood (one of my favorite fashion designers), and awesome distressed tartan plaid curtains!I was so happy I almost fell off of my seat, no joke! So far it has been a season of chefs describing yet again a long table, measured flower arrangement,s and really literal props concerning their designs…. I talk about keeping it fun and not so literal in my book. Have some fun, people.

I love that Janet took the original gastro-pub concept, which was derived from the original pubs in England that served up “pub grub" of high quality with a casual and celebratory atmosphere, into another era of England, which celebrated the huge movement of punk rock, and the high fashion that was born out of it. To me, this was unexpected, but completely genuine and absolutely held just as much merit as the more literal gastro-pub atmosphere that Kevin wanted for his dining room.