There's been some significant shuffling around in the world of beverages these past weeks, so here's a quick look at where DC's finest bartenders and sommeliers are working — or not working — these days.
1) Owen Thomson has left his position as lead bartender for José Andrés' ThinkFoodGroup as of the end of the America Eats Tavern run. A spokeswoman for the group confirms Thomson's departure and notes that he also serves as president of the DC Craft Bartenders Guild, but didn't want to speak to his current plans. UPDATE: Thomson explains via email, "I am taking the summer off to do some traveling and I'll be doing some bartending as well, helping some friends out and working shifts. My decision to leave was really based on the fact that while I loved my time working with Think Food Group and Jose I'm hoping to downsize a bit and get back to just working behind one bar again where I can focus all my energy... but for now it's Summer Break!"[EaterWire]
2) Sommelier Mark Slater has parted ways with Ray's the Steaks, per a tweet from Washingtonian critic Todd Kliman. No word on where he's gone. [Twitter]
3) Fiola has brought former Inn at Little Washington cellar master John Toigo aboard as their new wine director and assistant general manager. Per a press release, Toigo plans on "bringing more seasonality to the list and introducing guests to centuries of history that includes hundreds of little-known indigenous Italian grape varietals." [EaterWire]
4) Last but not least, Washingtonian's Jess Voelker has it that Steve Oshana is now behind the bar at BLT Steak after his highly publicized departure from Quench one week into the Rockville restaurant's lifespan. On moving back to DC, Oshana tells Voelker, "I feel like Napoleon returning from Elba." [Washingtonian]
Owen Thomson [Photo: Facebook]