Several chefs from the scant list of the Washington DC culinary elite who earned one, two, or three Michelin stars sailed through the groupings of guests on Tuesday, October 1, eager to receive the awards they’ve been dreaming of. For Bresca‘s already-starred chef, Ryan Ratino, “it’s an exceptional reward,” which he celebrated last year by hiring 13 people.
Around 7 p.m., the intendant of the ambassador’s house called on all those present to come to the hall for the long-awaited moment: the announcement of 2020’s Michelin stars.
For the first time, Ambassador Philippe Etienne, who arrived in the position last June, opened the speeches, comparing the work of a chef to that of a diplomat. Speaking in English, he recalled that “food is a powerful weapon,” and the adage that “the true way to touch a man’s heart is through his stomach.” To the laughter of his audience, he immediately added, “but clearly, the author of this phrase did not know anatomy very well.”
After a few presentations of he Michelin Guide, the starred chefs were announced one after the other. The Francophile chef Patrick O’Connell and The Inn at Little Washington remain for the moment the only three-star restaurant in the region.
“It’s great that the Michelin Guide recognizes our region as one of the four that deserves to have a guide,” said O’Connell, emphasizing that the Michelin Guide is “the most reliable gastronomic guide.”
However, the competition is fierce. While no French restaurant made it on the Michelin star list, the greater tragedy is that a Foggy Bottom restaurant, the Blue Duck Tavern, lost its star, a first for a restaurant in the capital.
Another highlight of the night, the sushi restaurant inside President Donald Trump’s DC hotel, Sushi Nakazawa, received its first Michelin star.
This is the third year that the Michelin Guide has awarded chefs its precious stars in the French ambassador’s residence on Kalorama Street. For this 2020 edition, the guide of the famous Michelin Man invited guests to taste the recipes of one of the starred chefs, Nicholas Stefanelli, from his restaurant Masseria.
Stefanelli is proud of his star. “The DC culinary scene has exploded in recent years,” says the chef born in the DC area. “And the guide is proof of that, it’s fantastic!”
For starred chef Ryan Ratino, this evening is important because “it brings together all the best chefs in the city in this beautiful home” and creates a sense of “community.” Between a glass of champagne and a spoonful of caviar, of course.
DC Michelin Stars of 2020
The Inn at Little Washington
Pineapple and Pearls
Little Pearl (NEW)
Sushi Nakazawa (NEW)
Tail Up Goat