The Social Roost, opening in fall 2019, adds Chef Robert Hesse as consultant

Photo of Rob Bowen, Robert Hesse, and Jason Teabout in front of white and gold banner for new restaurant

Social Roost, a new chicken-centric concept from St. Pete natives Rob Bowen and Jason Teabout, has revealed a major celebrity chef is on board as a consultant. Meet the culinary sensation, and St. Pete native, Chef Robert Hesse. 

Consider Social Roost a Burg born restaurant. The new eatery takes the great common denominator of proteins, chicken, and innovates it in a way that is unique, aesthetic, and efficient. 

Burg born business emerging downtown 

Hesse, Bowen, and Teabout continue to labor over an expansive menu that will capitalize on classic American recipes, while integrating global influences. You can also expect GOLD to factor into the menu. No, we’re not being figurative. Literal edible gold will feature at The Social Roost

Feast first with your eyes, St. Pete. The dishes here are sure to be as Instagram-friendly as they are palate pleasing. 

Bowen’s extensive background in interior design will ensure that the Sunshine City’s new local hub is as beauteous as the dishes. 

A local labor of love 

For Teabout and Bowen, finding a chef from St. Petersburg was imperative. That celebrity chef Robert Hesse was ready to return home to bring his culinary career full circle was more than serendipitous. As a consultant, he’ll assist in engineering and fine-tuning the menu, and training a staff of chefs to take over once his time with the Social Roost is done. 

Hesse plans to open his own restaurant, Fo’ Cheezy Twisted Meltz, later in 2020. 

Hesse is chef first and celebrity second. His prolific career has seen him work in fine dining establishments in London, and be revered as one of the top chefs to ever serve at The Playboy Mansion. 

Unique yet approachable menu 

While Hesse has catered to some of the most high profile diners on the globe, this chef has always tailored his recipes to the masses. 

His travels around the world and in every major culinary market on the globe have brought him back home to the Burg. Here, he’ll assist in making The Social Roost quite unlike any other chicken joint you’ve ever visited. 

The chef will be brought in to help develop the menu and train the staff. The hunt for The Social Roost’s permanent chef is on, but with no stringent deadline, according to Hesse. He says he’ll stay on until he and owners Rob Bowen and Jason Teabout have found the perfect chef for the job. 

Major opportunity for young chefs in Tampa Bay

For young, aspiring minds in Tampa Bay, this is a major opportunity to break through the glass ceiling. The perfect chef is one who isn’t satisfied with the status quo, someone who is always looking to innovate in the kitchen, and who can turn something as common as chicken into something extraordinary.

Hesse has studied under, and worked alongside some of the biggest names in the foodie world. Who? Chef Gordon Ramsey, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Mina, and Bobby Flay, just to name a few. 

He gained international notoriety from his various appearances on reality television shows, such as the anxiety-inducing Hell’s Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped Champions, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Cutthroat Kitchen. 

100% chicken concept debuting this fall

His credentials speak for themselves. His accolades include being the youngest chef in 15 years to receive 4-star recognition at the exclusive Georgica restaurant in East Hampton with famed rapper mogul Jay Z. 

Since St. Pete is in his DNA, it makes sense that Hesse would be trusted to consult on Social Roost. The 100% chicken restaurant should open within the next few months, and could deliver the best fried chicken in the Sunshine City. 

Social Roost will have a full liquor bar, too, so you can wash down the decadent delights with something a bit more spirited. The 2,500-square-foot poultry lover’s paradise is officially located at 150 1st Avenue North. Follow the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for official updates.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to