James Alefantis

American chef and restaurateur

James Alefantis is an American chef and restaurateur. He founded and owns two restaurants in Washington, D.C., including the pizzeria Comet Ping Pong, and American restaurant Buck's Fishing & Camping. He is also the president of the art gallery Transformer in Logan Circle, Washington, D.C..


  • Like our sauce — we harvest a whole crop of organic tomatoes — 10 tons of tomatoes every year.
    Can them all, store them in the basement, have like a harvest party when it gets loaded in.


  • Last year, Alefantis estimates, he bought 12 tons of Toigo tomatoes, which Stello turned into sauce and canned before trucking the jars to the basement at Buck’s Fishing & Camping, Alefantis’s other restaurant just a few steps down the block on Connecticut Avenue NW.
  • James Alefantis is also the owner and operator of Buck’s Fishing and Camping, where I work. The two restaurants are sort of sisters; Comet the larger, more casual, family-friendly spot, and Buck’s her slightly more upscale older sibling. Some employees work at both. We share supplies and storage space when necessary. We have a joint holiday party every year. You get the drift.
    I explained that there wasn’t even a basement in Comet as the theory posited, and that the basement was actually in Buck’s. I explained that, yes, employees from both establishments used it for storage, and then the caller started laughing. He said, Come on, we both know you’re lying. Two restaurants can’t carry food and supplies from one to the other. What do you do walk the food down the block on the sidewalk? That would violate every health code on the books! I tried to explain that the back doors were only ten feet apart in the back parking lot, that we weren’t carrying cooked food, but bottled and canned ingredients.
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