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May 30, 2014
Get to Know the Super Schmooze Chefs! (Part 1)
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If the words open bar and top-notch networking aren't enough to entice you to stop by our 2014 Super Schmooze on June 12, you're about to meet the talented chefs and mixologists ready to serve you. We got to know them, including little known facts that may surprise you.
Art & Soul serves seasonally driven cuisine influenced by the South. Chef Wes Morton is obsessed with Southern historical research and folds his findings into his cooking. Wes comes from Southern Louisiana and says he likes to “treat things simple.” Fun fact: He collectsantique spoons and loves to learn the stories behind them. They're not hanging on a wall somewhere—Wes uses them in his kitchen every day. Learn more about Art & Soul.
There's a 2-Star Michelin Chef serving fine food at Malmaison in Georgetown. French chef Gerard Pangaud was raised outside of Paris and opened his first restaurant at age 28! Adding to his impressive resume is the fact that he was once the chef of the G-7 Conference in Versailles, where he cooked for President Ronald Reagan. Malmaison is known for its weekly changing chef's tasting menu with three or four courses; each week brings new farm fresh offerings. Fun fact: At the time, Gerard was the youngest chef to be awarded two Michelin stars. Learn more about Malmaison.
Marcel's, the haute French Belgian restaurant by chef Robert Wiedmaier, may already be your special occasion spot, pre-theatre go-to, or just all around favorite restaurant. Perhaps you like Marcel's for its liberal use of truffles or top wine program. Never been? At Super Schmooze you can try two dishes from the restaurateur and avid hunter who defines himself as a full-circle chef: aspicy tuna tartar with avocado mousse and sesame tuile as well as a melon gazpacho with wild flower honey and cinnamon crouton. Fun fact: Robert is an official beer knight. He was enthroned into Knighthood of the Brewers' Mashstaff, a century old brewer's guild. Learn more about Marcel's.
Photo by Scott Suchman
Chef Anthony Lombardo of 1789 heads up one of the most charming and historical restaurants in the city. He serves modern American cuisine that utilizes local produce, sustainable seafood, and humanely raised meat. Dishes coming out of the kitchen are influenced by Anthony's Italian American background. At Super Schmooze, 1789 will serve slow-roasted lamb shoulder with fennel, Greek yogurt, freekah, and artichoke salad. Fun fact: Anthony speaks fluent Spanish and Italian and grew up Detroit. Learn more about 1789.
We snapped Westend Bistro chef Jessica Biederman putting the final touches on one of the restaurant's signature dishes—an impossibly thin tuna carpaccio. At Super Schmooze, however, guests will chow down on her lobster tater tots served with tarragon and whole grain mustard crème fraîche. Jessica has been at Westend Bistro inside the Ritz-Carlton for more than three years and is passionate about sourcing products domestically. Fun fact: Speaking of domestic products, Jessica collects glasses bearing the names of American breweries, which she gets at beer expos and on eBay—NOT from stealing pint glasses at bars like the rest of us! Learn more about Westend Bistro.
It's not a party without killer cocktails, so prepare to sip on something special at Super Schmooze from Marvin mixologist Ferit Ozergul. You'll find Ferit at the Marvin Gaye tribute bar on 14th Street slinging seasonal cocktails like the one we snapped of him making called the “Suzie,” which includes fresh organic strawberries. Ferit, who designed the whole spring cocktail menu, is from SouthernTurkey and has been in the hospitality industry since he was 12 years old. Fun fact: Ferit's the creative type (beyond just crafty cocktails). He's currently studying photography and fine art.Learn more about Marvin.
Marvin's next-door neighbor, The Gibson, will also be shaking and stirring drinks at Super Schmooze. We snapped Ted Freeseman stirring two drinks at the same time—so smooth. Fun fact: Ted says the best day to visit the swanky cocktail den is on Tuesdays. That's when you can try drinks inspired by a particular year's pop-culture. June Tuesdays will showcase the year 1994, while July Tuesdays will take you back to 1976. Learn more about The Gibson.
We caught up with Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab chef/partner Gary Baca in the final weeks before he returns to Chicago where he's based. Gary has been with Joe's for 15 years and helped to open the expansive and swanky DC location of the popular seafood restaurant. Super Schmooze guests will get to try Joe's rock shrimp and bay scallop ceviche. Fun fact: Gary got into hospitality while selling timeshares in Mexico. Specifically, he poured margaritas to 70+ thirsty patrons waiting for a seat at a beachfront restaurant. Learn more about Joe's.
New Town Kitchen and Bar chef Howsoon Cham hails from Gambia in West Africa, but has been working as a chef in DC for decades. But don't call him Howsoon, or ask him Howsoon he'd like to hang out. He likes to be called “H.O.” and actually came to DC on a soccer scholarship. At Super Schmooze, he will be serving mole-rubbed duck breast with a blood orange, chipotle gastrique. Fun fact: H.O. studied International Affairs and French in college to prepare him for a career in diplomacy. But, he only spent one year as a diplomat before trading in diplomacy for culinary pursuits. Learn more about New Town Kitchen and Bar.
Classic Brabo mussels in a white wine sauce packed with shallots and garlic will be on offer at Super Schmooze from Brabo chef de cuisine Harper McClure. You'll be able to spot him by his towering height (and big smile). Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier in Old Town Alexandria nabbed Harper about a year ago from The Federalist. Fun fact: Harper once spilled a few glasses of (red!) wine on culinary deity Daniel Boulud while reaching over the table to shake his hand at a wine dinner. Learn more about Brabo.
GCDC has been cranking out grilled cheese sandwiches since they opened this winter. No one knows that better than co-owner Bruce Klores who thinks he has set the Guinness World Record for the most grilled cheese sandwiches ever consumed by a single human. We snapped him in front of his favorite painting featuring Andrew Jackson's big block of cheese. At Super Schmooze, Bruce will hand out grilled cheese ladyfingers stuffed with bacon, jalapeno and cheddar cheese. Fun fact: He bartended his way through law school at a rib joint. Learn more about GCDC.
Check in next week for the rest of our amazing chef lineup!