The chef turned restaurateur was 38.
A resident of D.C. for the past 15 years, Curtz worked at D.C.’s go-to Neapolitan pizzeria for several years before branching out on his own. He and business partner David Rosner opened self-styled barbecue restaurant the Standard — whole smoked pig’s head, anyone? — in 2011; it’s since morphed into perpetually packed drinking spot Garden District. The duo partnered with 2 Amys co-owners Peter Pastan and Amy Morgan in 2013 to open neighborhood Italian restaurant Etto.
“His staff remember him as a leader and mentor who loved life to the fullest. He was a creative force and an inspiration behind both restaurants where he wore many hats, from building the countertops to greeting customers, serving variously as manager, chef, donut fryer, gardener and more,” Rosner wrote in an email. “His loss will be felt widely.”
No word on any funeral arrangements. Rosner says a “celebration of life” will take place at a later date. Meanwhile, both Garden District and Etto will continue to operate on their regular schedule.