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Blue Duck Tavern Chef Leaves His Job at D.C.’s Original Farm-Driven Hotel Kitchen

The restaurant has a big job opening months after losing its Michelin star

Chef Adam Howard
Chef Adam Howard
Occasions Caterers [official]

Vacancy at the Park Hyatt

Executive chef Adam Howard has left the Blue Duck Tavern, the classic, farm-sourcing American restaurant inside the Park Hyatt hotel that has served as a launching pad for a number of the area’s most talented cooks. After about a year and half leading the open kitchen, Howard announced this week that he’s accepted a new post with Occasions Caterers that will allow him to work a daytime schedule and spend more time with his wife and infant daughter. Howard, a former corporate chef for Bryan Voltaggio and Mike Isabella, oversaw the addition of Southern dishes lightened up by vegetarian ingredients — think braised collard greens with white soy and shiro-dashi potlicker.

In a text message to Eater, Howard says it was a difficult decision to leave, but, “At some point, seeing my daughter take her first steps became more important than stars.”

In October, Michelin took away Blue Duck’s one-star rating in its 2020 D.C. guide. A Michelin inspector told the Washington Post that the restaurant was lacking in “technique and quality.”

Park Hyatt General Manager Terry Dunbar says Blue Duck Tavern plans to announce a new chef de cuisine soon. “We will miss Chef Howard and wish him all the best in his next chapter,” Dunbar says in a statement.

More shuffles

  • Andy Clark just took over as chef at Napoli Pasta Bar in Columbia Heights. Most recently the chef de cuisine presiding over the standout rabbit ragu at San Lorenzo, Clark has also worked as a sous chef at some of the city’s top Italian destinations (Fiola, Red Hen, All-Purpose). [W]
  • Chef Tom Cardarelli has left his executive chef job at Vermilion, Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s fancy American venue in Old town, Alexandria. Inti Villalobos-Coady takes over the kitchen after a five-year stint as the sous chef at Brabo, a classic French spot nearby. [NVM]
  • Chef Tae Strain hasn’t been cooking at Momofuku CCDC for months. The chef, credited with making invigorating changes to the David Chang outpost, went on sabbatical in September and decided not to return. New chef de cuisine Kris Brumsted earned a promotion from sous chef and is now in charge of the bing with salted chili pimento cheese and dry-rubbed chicken wings with “tingly salt,” among other things.

Disclosure: David Chang and Chrissy Teigen are producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.

Blue Duck Tavern

1201 24th Street Northwest, , DC 20037 (202) 419-6755 Visit Website