Best Non-Celebrity Chef

BJ Lieberman
Rose’s Luxury, 717 8th St. SE, (202) 580-8889
BJ Lieberman is perfectly fine with staying out of the limelight. And that’s pretty incredible, given that he runs one of D.C.’s most popular restaurants. Just whisper the name Rose’s Luxury, and most people automatically think of one person: Aaron Silverman. But behind Rose’s executive chef is a whole team of staff that makes the restaurant run seamlessly every single night. Lieberman leads the kitchen as chef de cuisine, especially now more than ever. “Aaron is spending a lot of time next door now at Pineapple and Pearls, so it’s been kind of a whirlwind these last few months,” Lieberman says. But that’s OK, because “the work speaks to my heart.” While the paint is still drying at Silverman’s new fine dining establishment, Lieberman says he’s focused on adding new dishes, dining experiences, and cooking techniques at Rose’s. Meanwhile, upstairs on the roof garden (which is now an enclosed greenhouse), he’s offering year-round service with a different menu. “Really, my main focus is on the diners and their experience,” he says. “And honestly, I don’t ever want to be a celebrity chef. I don’t want to be on TV. I don’t even want to be in the newspaper.”