Chef Adam Sobel describes his journey to the restaurant industry as one that came about naturally. He was drawn to cooking “like a moth to a light,” he says. “I was 4 or 5 years old and I would be messing around in the kitchen, making nasty concoctions as a joke,” he said. While I’m imagining a miniature Sobel standing over a mixing bowl combining ingredients from his parent’s pantry, he adds that he did indeed grow up to train at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Sobel says he was 18-years-old when he really got passionate and serious about cooking.
Prior to moving to DC to replace David Varley as executive chef at Bourbon Steak, Sobel worked in Las Vegas as executive chef at Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. “DC is like a different planet. It’s very unique–the feel, the people, the way things operate” he says. Frankly, I’m surprised Sobel isn’t more shell-shocked by the move (then again, maybe a cross-country move after living and working in Vegas is a breeze). Before accepting the role fo executive chef at Bourbon Steak, Sobel had several conversations with Varley, “I asked him, ‘Can I make an impact?’ I don’t want to just carry a torch that was already lit.”