Chef Geoff’s caters to organic aficionados

At 3201 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., Chef Geoff Tracy prepares for another chaotic day at his D.C. restaurant, Chef Geoff’s, which is located near the American University campus.  The graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA, “pies, not spies”) has climbed the entrepreneurial ladder after having “jumped off the entrepreneurial cliff.” He currently owns four restaurants and manages one, all in the District’s vicinity.

Chef Geoff's- Photo by Giulia Hjort

In collaboration with Horace Mann Elementary School, Tracy has begun hands-on cooking classes that help young kids understand that although green food may not look very appealing, it can still taste really good. “If you can connect kids to the food that’s being prepared, you’re going to end up with kids more willing to eat healthy,” said Tracy. His biggest inspirations came when he became a father; Tracy refused to feed his kids chemically-altered products, so he spent an hour each week preparing food for them made from organic, fresh produce.  According to Tracy, this movement is “helping to create an obesity epidemic,” one that began before Let’s Move, First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to fight childhood obesity, and was inspired by the work of “celebrity chefs before celebrity chefs existed,” Nora Pouillon and Alice Waters.

In a country where mass production is commonplace, farmers are being pressured to grow food quickly, even if that means using pesticides or chemicals in their food that could potentially be harmful to those who eat it.  However, Tracy takes the “niche market” less traveled and buys local produce from companies such as J.J. McDonald and Coastal Sunbelt Produce that provide him with fresher and cheaper food.

The preservatives and growth hormones used in a large percentage of America’s food have also persuaded Tracy and his wife, Norah O’Donnell, to co-write a cookbook, Baby Love, which provides nutritious recipes for infants to help them shy away from Gerber products that often have “an expiration date well into the future.”

Chef Geoff's indoor seating- Photo by Giulia Hjort

Apart from the use of organic products, this restaurant also separates itself from others because of the expanse of American bistro–ranging from Japanese to Italian-inspired fare–such as the notorious Tuna Sashimi Napoleon with Wasabi Aioli appetizer and homemade gnocchi with pesto.  More of Chef Geoff’s tasty cuisine can be found at Chef Geoff’s Tysons, Chef Geoff’s Downtown and Lia’s.

Leave a Reply