McCrady’s chef de cuisine Jeremiah Langhorne is leaving the nationally renowned Charleston, S.C., restaurant with plans to plant roots in D.C. with a place of his own, Charleston’s The Post and Courier reported yesterday.
Langhorne tells Y&H he’s still looking at locations for the yet-unnamed eatery in Shaw, where he’s set to move in November, just after getting married.
The “polished casual” restaurant will serve modern American cuisine inspired by regional and historic influences. Langhorne says he’s spent a lot of time studying Thomas Jefferson and American cuisine of the early 1800s. “To me that’s very exciting, very interesting, and I just want to use that as my inspiration and translate it into some really simple and delicious food.” The kitchen itself will earken back to that era. A wood-fire hearth will be modeled after the one at Monticello and similar kitchens of the early 19th century.
The menu will focus heavily on vegetables and sustainable seafood. “As soon as I get up there, I’ll be touring all of the farms,” Langhorne says. At McCrady’s, he says he’s worked with all of his purveyors on their farms. “I’m excited to showcase that region,” he says. “I love the Chesapeake Bay and I love the farmland around D.C.”
But Langhorne doesn’t want to pigeonhole his food into too specific categories: “I’m very into food just being delicious.”
The chef is no stranger to this area. He was born outside of Fairfax, but grew up mostly in the Shenandoah Valley, near Winchester, Va. “We had a big garden that was a big part of my life growing up,” he says. Wherever Langhorne’s restaurant lands, expect it to have a garden of some sort, whether on the roof or in a community plot nearby. “I like to use a lot of herbs that are funky or outside the norm.”
Langhorne says he’s long dreamed of returning to the area to open a restaurant, and D.C.’s dining-scene boom in recent years was an added bonus.
“I feel like D.C. is really the next place for food,” he says.