Aaron Silverman is the rare chef on this list who not only didn’t grow up in a family of foodies, but also didn’t have any early interest in the culinary world. Though he has fond memories of his parents’ cooking, Aaron never considered cooking as a professional pursuit. That began to change in high school when Aaron worked at Gepetto restaurant, and after graduating college and realizing that money wasn’t a driving force in his life, Aaron began to consider the culinary arts.
Aaron trained himself by watching cooking shows and experimenting with recipes and was immediately hooked by the gratification one receives when they create a delicious, well-rounded dish. He began working in the kitchen of 2941 in Falls Church, Virginia, where he learned from chef Jonathan Krinn the realities of the restaurant industry. And almost 10 years later, Aaron opened Rose’s Luxury in Washington, D.C.
Rose’s Luxury is well-known as one of the first restaurants to offer health insurance and full benefits to all its employees, but Aaron’s charitable nature doesn’t end there; servers also have the freedom to give away one free dish to every table they serve. For Aaron, cooking is about joy, and that ethos permeates every aspect of his business pursuits.
Specialties & Resources
Aaron’s unconventional introduction to the culinary world is reflected in the offerings at Rose’s Luxury. Dishes include foie gras & chicken liver pate with plum mostarda & brioche; pork sausage with habanero, peanuts & lychee salad; romaine hearts with duck egg, crispy potato, herbs & buttermilk; grilled beef sirloin with hollandaise & green papaya; blue catfish with crispy bread, green tomato relish & saffron aioli; boudin-stuffed squid with cold potato salad & herb; hand-cut trenette; arro reginetti with garlic, kale & mustard greens; rigatoni with tomato, eggplant, anchovy & int; greek chicken with housemade pita & pickled vegetables; and smoked brisket with white bread, horseradish & slaw.
Building on the success of Rose’s Luxury, Aaron also opened Pineapple & Pearls this past April. Centered on an idea of whimsical elegance, the menu changes daily with new tasting items for guests. Past offerings include smoked beef rib with mole and nixtamalized grits; and white-asparagus okonomiyaki coated with mushroom duxelles and chicken mousse rolled in a rice-flour crepe and topped with bonito flakes. Aaron has stated his desire to make Pineapple & Pearls a “place of celebration,” and the lighthearted approach to their cuisine allows guests to focus on the dining experience as a whole. Based on its success, Aaron’s creations are sure to continue to be in high demand.