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January 24, 2012 
Fresh From Hollywood

Join us for our Back To Business Schmooze & Style-O-Rama on Monday, January 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres from The Galleria’s premier restaurants, an open bar and music!  Find out more and register here.

After 25 years, the Park Hyatt Washington has a new chef. Sebastien Archambault has succeeded Brian McBride at Blue Duck Tavern. The French-trained chef, who most recently worked in Los Angeles, tells us about transitioning from Sunset Boulevard to the K Street crowd.
Sebastien Archambault
Don't be fooled by his French accent; Sebastien was born in Lubbock, Texas. His dad was an engineer for Texas Instruments, and his parents operated a small restaurant. The family soon moved back to their home in Le Bugue, France, where they opened another restaurant. Sebastien studied biology, math, and physics, but in the end, realized he wanted to be a chef. (A few years earlier, his father left engineering to become a culinary school teacher.) Since then, he's worked for some of the world's best chefs, including Alain Ducasse, Jean-Francois Rouquette, and Guy Savoy. Sebastien was executive chef at RH restaurant at the Andaz West Hollywood hotel and then L'Epicerie Market in LA, when Brian McBride recommended him for the job at Blue Duck. The two had met four years ago while Sebastien was visiting DC and again in 2008 when Brian helped to open RH restaurant (another Park Hyatt property). "We found a common spirit," Sebastien says.
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Sebastien Archambault
Sebastien won't be changing the style of Blue Duck, but he plans to roll out a new menu beginning next week. Expect more vegetable dishes and comfort foods with a twist like mac and cheese with crispy sweet breads, black trumpet mushrooms, and a veal jus. Sebastien is no stranger to the world of power dining, either. (Blue Duck was ranked #11 on Bisnow's Power 40 rankings.) In LA, he cooked for his fair share of celebrities—from Robert De Niro to Pamela Anderson. He even drank Champagne with Leonardo DiCaprio during the premiere party for Red Riding Hood hosted at his restaurant. Already, Sebastien is getting a feel for the Washington power crowd (and at least one Hollywood celeb who visited Blue Duck in the past few weeks). After we said goodbye to Sebastien, he headed to the bar area; the Gabonese ambassador was waiting to speak with him.

Nightlife Hotspots Do Food Trucks
Barcode DC
The team behind Ultrabar, Lima, and Barcode (above) is launching two food trucks in the next three to four months. (Hopefully groovin' to DJ beats while serving eats isn't a moving violation.) The names and menus haven't been worked out, but one truck will be a spin-off of Lima's Latin American cuisine and the other will compliment Barcode's Italian menu. Director of operations Arman Amirshahi tells the trucks will cater to the lunchtime and late night crowds.

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington president Lynne Breaux, Virginia Dept. of Agriculture's Dave Robishaw, and Virginia Wine Board's Annette Boyd
"Hats Off to Restaurants" will be the theme of this year's RAMMY Awards (the Oscars of the DC restaurant scene). Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington president Lynne Breaux, Virginia Dept. of Agriculture's Dave Robishaw, and Virginia Wine Board's Annette Boyd unveiled the theme during a party a Virtue Feed & Grain last night. The RAMMY gala will be held June 24, so there's plenty of time to channel your inner Princess Beatrice.
chef and restaurateur Cathal Armstrong
Just days after the opening of Society Fair, we found chef and restaurateur Cathal Armstrong wearing an arm brace. He tells us he injured himself while sparring in Taekwondo. But the green belt says it's nothing; he'll be back to training today. He's competing in a tournament in three weeks to qualify for the national Taekwondo championships. In case you need proof of Cathal's ability to kick butt and take names, check out this video of his training routine.

You Don't Schmooze, You Lose
Founding Farmers Potomac

Back to Business Schmooze & Style-O-Rama: Hors d'oeuvres from The Galleria's premier restaurants, open bar, and music. Tysons Galleria, 2001 International Dr., McLean, VA. Jan. 30, 6-8 pm. $39. Register here.

Singles Schmoozarama: two hours of open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and DC's most eligible professionals. Smith Commons, 1245 H St., NE. Feb. 6, 6-8 pm. $39. Register here.

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