Does getting too big for your chef pant's britches imply an eventual move to New York City? Apparently so for one of Washington's leading chefs, Fabio Trabocchi, who publicly revealed Friday that he's leaving Maestro at the Tysons Corner Ritz Carlton in McLean, Virginia—one of the area's most lauded kitchens—to become a chef-partner of SoHo's sexy Fiamma Osteria, part of Steve Hanson's mega B.R. Guest Restaurant Group.
Dueling D.C. critics Todd Kliman (of the Washingtonian) and Tom Sietsema (of the Washington Post), both published online statements about the breaking news Friday. That kind of intel is just too hot to wait around for a print edition. (Hot like Trabocchi's Braised Veal Chops with Honey, a popular recipe from his Cuisines of Le Marche cookbook).
"The decision was not an easy one," said Trabocchi, who had been looking to open a place of his own in the area. "My heart is in Washington." He said he was attracted to Fiamma because of "the opportunity to grow as a chef" and to help a younger generation of restaurant workers."
Does that mean you can't grow as a chef in our humble ol' town, Fabio? As Serious Eats reported earlier this year, Trabocchi cooked up a storm at this year's James Beard post-awards ceremony dinner. He's used to the world sweating his cuisine, though, as last year's Best Mid-Atlantic Chef, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington Chef of the Year in 2005 and one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs way back in 2002.
Ya gotta take those golden opportunities, Fabio, we understand. But we'll miss your baby face preparing veal chops in Maestro's open kitchen. Keep in touch?
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