Nathan began working for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group in 2004, serving as Executive Chef of Tallula in Arlington, where he gained critical notices from USA Today and The Washington Post for his charcuterie, and especially his housemade bacons. In 2008, Anda founded Red Apron Butchery, a creative collaboration with NRG and a handful of dedicated regional farmers to serve as a locally sourced whole animal butcher and small-batch producer of handcrafted charcuterie and fine provisions. Red Apron currently operates three stores in DC & Virginia.
For Angel Barreto, food has always correlated with happy memories. Wanting to impact people's most important moments in their lives through food ignited his love for culinary arts. He attended L'Academie De Cuisine where he gained a foundation in French food. Upon graduation, Angel secured a spot at Vermilion with Anthony Chittum, gaining an understanding of farm to table food and sustainable cooking. Harboring a consistent passion for Asian food, Angel took his talents to The Source by Wolfgang Puck while under the mentorship of Scott Drewno. Working his way up in only five and a half years from cook to executive sous chef, Angel's creativity and drive have furthered his interest in traveling worldwide to garner knowledge about international cuisine.
Freddie J. Bitsoie, (Diné) is the Executive Chef at the National Museum of the American Indian. Chef Bitsoie is one of a few Native American chefs at the forefront of preparing, presenting, and educating about foods indigenous to the Americas. He has been featured in America, The Cookbook, The New York Times, “Lidia Celebrates America” with Lidia Bastianich, and NPR. Chef Bitsoie was born in Monticello, UT and raised in Arizona. He attended the University of New Mexico where he studied anthropology and art history and studied culinary arts in Scottsdale, AZ. He currently resides in Washington D.C. where he shares his motto, “There's no shame in eating.”
At Centrolina restaurant and market in CityCenterDC, Chef and Owner Amy Brandwein shows Washingtonians the versatility, grace, and overall delicacy of Italian cuisine. The four-time James Beard Award nominee believes food should taste as good as in Italy, plated with poise, and viewed through the seasonal lens of the Mid-Atlantic—tenets she instills in her fast-casual project, Piccolina, an osteria that opened across the alley from Centrolina in July 2019. An advocate for charities that support healthy eating and ending hunger, Brandwein is also an active supporter of So Others Might Eat, DC Central Kitchen, and Martha's Table. She is a longtime member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.
An agent of alternatives, Erik Bruner-Yang creates space. Through his Washington, D.C.-based concept development company, Foreign National, he offers an alternative: food and space as commons. There exists a constant dialogue of community, culture and progress. Bruner-Yang’s restaurants are instinctual; contemporary yet habitual. His restaurants have received numerous accolades, from Bon Appetit magazine’s 50 Best New Restaurants 2018; to Thrillist’s Best New Restaurants 2018 and RAMMY’s Best New Restaurant 2019 for Spoken English. Born in Taiwan and raised in the States, Bruner-Yang has been credited for introducing D.C. to ramen in 2011 with Toki Underground.
Allie Cheppa leads the charge at Buzz Bakeshop, a beloved neighborhood bakery where she and her team offer a myriad of sweets, pastries, cakes and so much more. Allie first joined Neighborhood Restaurant Group as Pastry Sous Chef at Buzz Bakeshop in spring 2018, and was promoted to Executive Pastry Chef just months later. Before that, she spent three years at RareSweets Bake Shop, and boasts over 10 years of experience working in local bakeries across DC and Virginia. Allie’s work has been featured in Washingtonian, The Washington Post and Northern Virginia Magazine.
After many years working his way up through kitchens, including Elite Cafe in San Francisco, Tony moved to DC to work at newly opened Equinox restaurant under the tutelage of Todd Gray. After serving as executive chef of Notti Bianchi for two years, Chittum joined NRG, where under his guidance, Vermilion restaurant in Old Town Alexandria received numerous accolades including a three-star review from The Washington Post. Chittum has continued his work with NRG, opening the beautiful, award-wining Iron Gate in 2014.
Chef Autumn Cline cut her teeth in the high-pressure kitchens in the capitol of our nation. After a stint at the Michelin-starred Rose's Luxury in Washington, DC she joined Rappahannock Oyster Bar to channel her southern Virginia roots while tapping into the bounty of the Chesapeake, then helped launch Emilie’s on Capitol Hill. Cline is now planning her own concept and a series of pop-up dinners.
Robert Curtis brings over 10 years of experience to his post as Hazel’s Executive Chef, including his most recent apprenticeship at the world-renowned Noma in Copenhagen. After graduating from Johnson & Wales in Charlotte, NC, Curtis cut his teeth at Brabo and Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, followed by a three-year tenure as sous chef at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak in Georgetown. While at Bourbon Steak, the Mina Group tapped Curtis to join the team at the now-closed RN74 in San Francisco. Before returning to the East Coast, Curtis spent time traveling through Turkey, which ultimately inspired much of the menu development and culinary direction for Hazel when he took the helm in 2018.
Friedman began his career working for Jose Andres at Zaytinya. After two years, he left his mentor to travel the world. Eating through Italy, Greece, Turkey and Northern Africa, Friedman picked up the interesting and exciting nuances of each country. Back in the US, Friedman spent time staging in some influential kitchens, including San Francisco's Incanto, Los Angeles’ Lucques, Philadelphia's Vetri, and New York's Scarpetta. Friedman returned to D.C. as Executive Sous Chef of Proof, and under the tutelage of Executive Chef Haidar Karoum, he honed his craft and simplified his style to let seasonal ingredients shine. Friedman opened up The Red Hen in 2014, and All-Purpose Shaw in 2016, a love letter to his home state of New Jersey.
Chef Rock Harper won Season 3 of FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" and is the National Celebrity Chef for the March of Dimes and wrote “44 Things Parents Should Know About Healthy Cooking for Kids,” a unique and refreshing guide to help parents and kids learn healthy eating habits to last a lifetime. Harper recently opened the fried-chicken focused Queen Mother’s at Ghostline DC, a loving tribute to his mom Carold Harper, affectionately known to many as “Mother.”
Johanna Hellrigl is the Executive Chef at Mercy Me. Born into a family of chefs, Hellrigl was raised in kitchens in Italy and the United States, including in New York City. Formerly culinary director of Doi Moi, Hellrigl put her pandemic quarantine to productive use, distributing hundreds of free sour dough samples to home bakers across Washington, D.C., asking only that the recipients in turn bought a gift card or donated to a local restaurant.
Tim Ma risked it all more than a decade ago by leaving behind a successful career in engineering to follow his dream of opening a restaurant. Following a move to New York City, where Tim completed his training at The French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) and an externship at a two Michelin-starred restaurant, he had a brief stint in St. Thomas before settling back in Northern Virginia to open his first restaurant with his wife Joey. Multiple well-regarded restaurants later, Tim is the executive chef at American Son at Eatons. Committed to reducing food waste, Ma is an ambassador of Zero Waste Kitchen, a sustainability initiative by the culinary software company BlueCart
Currently the Sous Chef of B Side in the Mosaic District, Bridget hails from New Orleans, LA and began her trade unofficially at 19. She took her first serious steps into the industry cooking for the Brennan’s family at Bourbon House for 5 years. Bridget took a two year break to travel in and around the U.S. After her travel years she decided to leave her hometown and continue her cooking journey in Virginia. This is her second Arcadia Farm Dinner.
Isaiah Ruffin is Alexandria City Public Schools first ever executive chef. A DC native and Army veteran, he mastered his profession during his 13 years, of service ultimately acting as a personal chef for high ranking officials. Since leaving the military in 2014, he has held senior positions at restaurants in DC, Austin and Denver -- and now looks after the nutritional and culinary well being of Alexandria school children.
By the age of 15, Jarrad was washing dishes at Pie-tanza in Arlington, VA, where he spent nights and weekends in between attending high school and tennis practice. He spent the next six years working nearly every position at the neighborhood pizza spot – from prep cook to pizza cook, busser to general manager. After seven years working for Isabella Concepts, Silver joined Neighborhood Restaurant Group in 2018, taking the helm of its seminal Logan Circle food and beer destinations, Birch & Barley and ChurchKey. Silver’s Modern American menu draws on culinary influences from around the globe, while artfully incorporating locally and regionally-sourced products when possible.
At age 26, Cable left his engineering job to attend culinary school in Austin, Texas. After culinary school, he packed up to travel and learn from some of the country's best chefs including Richard Blais (Juniper & Ivy), Ryan Smith & Hugh Acheson (Empire State South, Staplehouse), and Ned Elliot (Foreign & Domestic). Since moving to Washington D.C. in 2016, Cable is the Executive Chef of the Michelin Bib Gourmand winning restaurant, The Royal as well as the Executive Chef / Partner of Lulu’s Winegarden.
Jonathan Till’s career in the kitchen began at 4-years-old, when he stood on milk crates to help wash dishes at Beverly’s, his grandmother’s namesake restaurant in Saratoga Springs, NY. A third-generation chef, Till has worked in some of the most esteemed Mid-Atlantic restaurants, landing at Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s (NRG) original outpost and Del Rey stalwart, Evening Star Café in 2018. An avid forager, Till is a member of the Mycological Association of Washington, D.C. – a passion reflected in his menus at Evening Star.
Rahul Vinod is the co-founder of Washington, D.C.’s growing fine fast-casual Indian restaurant, RASA. Rahul left behind his career in investment banking in NYC to team up with lifelong friend and business partner Sahil Rahman to bring their childhood dream to life. The restaurant offers a menu of set and build-your-own bowls inspired by Rahman's and Vinod's Indian backgrounds integrating flavors from Kerala and Northern India. RASA opened in December 2017, receiving high praise in the form of two-and-a-half stars from The Washington Post. They recently debuted their second DC location in the Mt. Vernon Triangle neighborhood. The two are also 2018 Eater Young Guns winners.
Kyle leads the kitchen in delivering great tasting pastries and savory treats, both in Dog Tag Bakery’s shop and for catering and events. He also serves as an instructor for back of house operations in the Dog Tag Fellowship program. Trained at L’Academie de Cuisine, he started his career working the line and moved to Dog Tag to learn Pastry. Kyle has been with Dog Tag since it first opened, helping to develop the menu and get the storefront running. Since then, he has since moved to become the Head Chef. Kyle enjoys the opportunity to apply high quality standards to comforting American classics, and he and the kitchen team are all active supporters of the Dog Tag Fellowship program.