Jewish Guy of the Week Jonathan S.

1.) We heard you’re the reason behind many of the food offerings at Nats stadium. Explain.
I got lucky and ended up working in baseball, then I got luckier and started to oversee the foodservice at Nationals Park. Food and baseball go so well together and I wanted to make sure that the Park had the best food in the league. There is a lot of competition out there but each year we have added awesome new food concepts. This year not only did we bring four concepts from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality to the Park but we added DC favorites like Dolci Gelati and continue to create our own unique concepts like Jammin’ Island BBQ!

2.) Speaking of baseball, you recently watched a game with an Israeli. What was that experience like?
It was fun.  I don’t sit down and watch too much baseball myself, but having a chance to teach someone about a sport they barely knew existed was pretty cool. What I was most shocked about was that I actually knew what I was talking about! Before I started my job I had probably only been to three baseball games in my life, so I felt pretty good upon realizing that I finally know what’s going on on the field.

3.) You previously worked in hotel management. What goes on behind the scenes?
I’d use the expression, “They sell the dream, we manage the nightmare.” It wasn’t close to a nightmare, more like organized chaos, and every day brought something new and hilarious. It’s amazing what bands put in their contracts: I am pretty sure they ask for things just to see if a hotel will do it-who really wants to be called Mr. Corn Flakes every time the front desk calls? (I kid you not, there is a band out there and each member asks to be called the name of a cereal.) The operations team also knows what goes on in every room: that adult movie you watched costs two times as much as the chick flick you told us you watched.

4.) You’ve been known to make an amazing Shabbat dinner. What are you cooking this week?
This week I’ve got nothing exciting unfortunately, but I’ve been grilling out a ton this summer. You can cook anything on a grill and make it great; most people just forget the salt and pepper, and that’s really all you need. Kabobs are my go to, they are quick and easy-seriously, who doesn’t like that? Artichokes are also awesome on the grill if you want to spend a little more time playing around.  For the unkosher folks out there, beer cheeseburgers rock: get some beer cheese and freeze it into a ball and then build the burger around it. As the burger cooks, the cheese will melt and you will have an awesome burger.

5.) Your Facebook profile says, “One day I will own the club that you spent hours waiting in line for.” What will this club be like and will GTJ readers still have to wait in line?
Hopefully there will be more than one. They will be themed to go along with the hotels they are in. It’s part of the hospitality group I am working to create. But I just want to be clear, the way the quote is paraphrased makes me look really cocky–while for many other reasons this could be true on your average Monday night, it wasn’t when I wrote that down. And of course, anyone who brings a copy of this article will get a skip the line pass.

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