What is Jordan Kahn up to today, and how far along is his new high-end dining experience Vespertine? Let’s take a look. This is KahnWatch.
With resumes (well, maybe not resumes exactly) heading into Jordan Kahn’s inbox these days, it’s only a matter of time before Vespertine starts to staff up in a big way. And when Kahn’s high-minded Hayden Tract tasting menu restaurant comes online this spring, the folks working in the kitchen are going to need aprons to wear. The question is: which aprons?
The early money would seem to be on Hedley & Bennett, given their place in the market as a fashion and design-forward company. That’s in fitting with the Vespertine vibe, and considering there’s no shortage of other hip restaurants around America rocking the ampersand, it seems an easy sell. But not so fast: after reaching out, the company tells Eater that they have so far not been contacted by Kahn.
A quick Google image search also reveals Kahn’s apparent hesitance about wearing an apron with a logo of any kind. Most of the time it’s a simple all-black affair, like what’s pictured below:
In fact, you’ll find that same look as far back as 2010, when Kahn cooked a dinner at Test Kitchen on Pico Boulevard.
Kahn’s staff at Destroyer also seems to have a penchant for the muted black look, as you can see from an image (below) of staff early on at the breakfast-and-lunch restaurant across the street from the upcoming Vespertine.
And so you’d think that would settle it, but no. A blog post from NJinLA at the end of January regarding Destroyer shows a completely different apron look — this time a soft denim. And it’s not like staff has a policy of just wearing what they want (hard to imagine Kahn would let that fly), so these are definitely uniforms.
So what will Kahn be wearing when he struts into the kitchen on night one? No “apron” at all, it seems. Kahn calls the kitchen uniforms he’ll be handing to staff “garments” instead, and will have designer Jona Sees handling production there. For a little intro into what sort of tone that clothing will take, check out his Instagram mood board.
Are any of these looks, pulled from the Jona Sees website, a possible peek into the finished design you’ll find at Vespertine? Nothing is confirmed just yet, but know it’s probably not far off.
If all goes well, Vespertine should open this spring.