Two of our area’s finest chefs—Chef Ed Reynoso of Beltsville and Chef Neville Nugent of College Park—are teaming up to bring to Northern Prince George’s County what promises to become a gourmet’s dining destination with an internationally tinged menu featuring to-die-for steaks and half-pound designer burgers created from finest, dry-aged, USDA grade prime beef. Bearing the catchy title “Mad Cow Grill,” the area’s new feeding and watering hole is projected to open late this fall at 310 Domer Avenue in nearby Laurel.
Both men came by the honorary title “chef” the hard way—they earned it through natural initiative, creative genius, and a tireless work ethic. Ed Reynoso is a Beltsville native. He grew up here, has lived on one of Beltsville’s oldest streets virtually his entire life, and still does. He attended the Beltsville Academic Center, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, and High Point High School, graduating in 1995. He began his culinary journey working part-time as a High Point student at the American Café in what is now the Sheraton Hotel in Calverton. Meanwhile, Ed’s explosive defensive tackle play for the High Point football team earned him a full-ride football scholarship at Hampton University in Virginia. Unfortunately, Ed suffered a serious injury playing another sport during his first college semester, thus abruptly ending both his blossoming football career and his full-tuition athletic scholarship.
Not one to shy from adversity, Ed returned to Beltsville to pursue a culinary career. He hired on at the Outback Steak House, where his gift for natural leadership quickly earned him promotion to kitchen supervisor. From there, he moved on to the popular Jasper’s restaurant in Greenbelt, where he received his first big break in the form of a paid chef internship at the famous Watergate Hotel in Washington. Ed Reynoso was on his way. Following his Watergate internship, Ed landed a stint as sous-chef at the Timothy Dean Restaurant and Bar in the exclusive St. Regis Hotel on K Street.
Other notable restaurants along Ed’s career path included the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Hillandale, MD, and Ray’s The Steaks and Ray’s Hell Burger of Washington and Northern Virginia. It was there that Ed fell in love with turning out top-of-the- line steaks and burgers and picked up the inspiration to open the Mad Cow Grill.
By the time Ed Reynoso joined the Old Line Bistro in Beltsville, he had become what is known in the restaurant trade as an “executive chef,” meaning in only slightly exaggerated words “the chef who runs the place.” He is rather pleased to have introduced Tuesday night’s popular trivia game, which is run by Charm City Trivia of Baltimore. Ed’s work at Old Line Bistro earned such accolades as being rated Prince George’s County Best Restaurant, Best Happy Hour, and Best Burger.
Chef Neville Nugent and his wife Sandra opened their Unforgettable Flavors Café in College Park in 2003. Neville learned his trade turning out Jamaican food in his father’s restaurant in his native Jamaica. It is Nugent who will bring a spark of international cuisine to the newly formed Mad Cow Grill. Before opening the Unforgettable Flavors Café in College Park, Neville honed his skills at the Roti Chef at eatZi's Market and Bakery in Atlanta, GA, the Sous Chef at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, also in Atlanta, and at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC.
At the close of an interview for this article, Chef Ed kindly offered a preview of the planned Mad Cow Grill menu. A reporter notes an impressively long menu of appetizers, salads, soups, steaks and burgers, entrees, desserts, and much more. If you should visit the Mad Cow Grill for a meal, you will have little call to go away hungry.