Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

New Chef Takes the Helm at Blue Duck Tavern

Photo courtesy of prettylovelythings
Entrance – Blue Duck Tavern
courtesy of prettylovelythings

It caused a bit of a stir when Brian McBride, the long-time chef at Blue Duck Tavern left in November to team up with Robert Wiedmaier on a concept that has yet to be unveiled. But now the restaurant in the Park Hyatt in Georgetown has a new executive chef leading the way: Sebastien Archambault.

The 34-year-old chef was born in Texas but trained in Paris, and has worked under the direction of big names such as Alain Ducasse, Jean-Francois Rouquette and Guy Savoy. Additionally, Archambault has worked in France, Mexico and in Corsica, where he earned a Michelin star during his time at Restaurant Le Pirate. In 2008, he became the executive chef at the Andaz West Hollywood hotel’s RH Restaurant where he met the McBride, the former Blue Duck Tavern chef McBride who assisted in the opening of RH.

“Sebastien is certainly the ideal choice for my successor at Park Hyatt Washington & Blue Duck Tavern,” said Brian McBride, former executive chef of the Park Hyatt Washington in a press release. “He is not only an incredibly talented chef, but also a friend who I have had the pleasure of working alongside in many kitchens – from sharing menu ideas and new dishes to collaborating together at the esteemed Masters of Food & Wine event in Buenos Aires. Sebastien’s culinary vision and commitment to sustainability mirrors the spirit and concept of Blue Duck Tavern and he will work closely with Chef de Cuisine John Melfi to bring the true flavors of seasonal ingredients to the table.”

Food and Drink, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Haidar Karoum of Proof/Estadio Wins DCCK’s Capital Food Fight

Photo courtesy of
‘Capital Food Fight Winner, Chef Haidar Karoum’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Last night the battle between some of DC’s best chefs raged on for DC Central Kitchen’s 8th annual Capital Food Fight. In the final round, chefs Haidar Karoum of Proof and Estadio and Todd Gray of Equinox and Watershed worked with the secret ingredient: lamb. At the end, judges Ming Tsai, Joan Nathan and Ted Allen named Haidar as the champion (he’s the man with the boxing gloves in the above photo).

Chefs Brian McBride and Jeff Black also competed as featured DC chefs. One of the highlights of the night included a surprise battle round with former Top Chef contestants Mike Isabella, Carla Hall, Spike Mendelsohn and Jennifer Carroll working with Idaho russett potatoes as the secret ingredient.

The sold-out food fight raised $550,000 for DCCK’s programs, according to their website. You can check out more photos from last night’s Capital Food Fight here.

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

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.”
Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

This Week in Food

Photo courtesy of
‘Ray’s Hell-Burger’
courtesy of ‘KentonNgo’
It’s been quite a busy week in food!

The food truck/cupcake/small business/personal quest (?) wars continue…and get quite strange indeed. Read Sprinklegate turns food truck war in The Washington Examiner.

Are you always arguing with friends about which burger joint in DC is actually the best? Well, Food & Wine picks two DC restaurants for us as part of its “Best Burgers in DC” slideshow. Their picks: Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington (shocking) and Palena Café.

Agora is adding a new fixed price, three-course lunch menu at $14.99 per person Monday through Friday from 11 AM until 3 PM. You can pick Turkish and Greek inspired dishes like grilled ground lamb and beef kebab with sumac onions & Baklava, along with a choice of non-alcoholic beverage. 

If you really follow chef moves, Top Chef Finalist Carla Hall joins DC Central Kitchen’s Board of Directors. DCCK is also looking to start a Truck Farm. Curious? Find out more here

Executive Chef Brian McBride has tapped Eric Fleischer as the New Chef de Cuisine of the Award-Winning Blue Duck Tavern. Most recently, Fleischer worked as chef de cuisine at Zola in Penn Quarter.

Speaking of PQ, accoring to Penn Quarter Insider, Hill Country BBQ opens on Saturday (or maybe the 17th?). So check it out one of those days or go to U Street’s newest sports bar, Touchdown. TBD reports that Touchdown opened its doors Tuesday in the former space of Momo’s Sports Bar. The bar shows-off old photographs of the Washington Senators from the 1924 World Series.

Happy eating!