Capital Chefs: Fall 2011 Comings and Goings of DC Chefs

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Plantains & Kimchi’

A lot has been happening in the DC chef community in the last month or so. Here’s a recap on the comings and goings of local chefs across the city.

First up, after 12 years Equinox’s chef and owner Todd Gray is passing the torch on to a new chef. Karen Nicolas, Equinox’s new executive chef, recently came from Simon Pearce restaurant in Philadelphia and Soul restaurant in Chicago. Nicolas also had a stint as executive sous chef at Tom Colicchio’s Gramercy Tavern in New York City. While Gray said in a press release that he will continue to work with Nicolas on dishes at Equinox, he added that her “culinary vision will be reflected in the menu.”

Over on 14th Street, Robert Weland was recently named as the executive chef of Cork Wine Bar. After working at the Ritz-Carlton in New York, as well as at the two-star Michelin restaurant Pierre Orsi in Lyon, Weland came to DC in 2004 as the executive chef at Poste Moderne Brasserie. In a press release, Weland stated that Cork was the first place he and his wife went for their “post-baby date,” and that he’s excited to start working at the restaurant.

Speaking of Poste Modern Brasserie, their new chef comes from The Grille at Morrison House and Jackson 20. Chef Dennis Marron was announced as the new executive chef. Before coming to DC, Marron had worked in kitchens from New Jersey to San Francisco. He also spent some time working at Bistro Bis in DC. His new menus at Poste are scheduled to debut this month.

The last and most recent chef move is Brian McBride who is leaving Blue Duck Tavern to partner with Robert Wiedmaier to open a new restaurant within a year. McBride will be working at Brasserie Beck in the interim with the new chef de cuisine Will Morris who previously worked at Bourbon Steak. According to the press release, McBride will also be helping out at Wiedmaier’s Mussel Bar in Bethesda. As The Washington Post reported, McBride’s last day at Blue Duck Tavern is November 12th.

Marissa was born and bred in New Jersey, but moved to DC for undergrad at GWU (Go Colonials, go!), fell in love with the District and learned that there was life and civilization beyond New York City. She loves eating at white-tablecloth-three-forks-at-your-place-setting restaurants, but she’ll also be the first to suggest we scarf down some chili dogs at 2 am. Simply put, she loves all things food. You can also read about why she loves DC. Follow her on Twitter and email her at mbialecki (at)

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