The Young and Delicious

by Editorial

These eight 40 and under chefs are the next generation of the Washington dining, and they have the scene sizzling.

By Ann Mah

Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver

Ah, professional cooking. “It’s a young person’s game,” chef, author and culinary adventurer Anthony Bourdain has said. “Young pigeons and old chefs – you just don’t see them.”

Indeed, despite this town’s predilection for age over beauty, a flock of talented young chefs has descended upon the capital, making it one of the country’s hottest dining scenes. We sat down with eight of the city’s top chefs – all under the age of forty – to discuss success at a young age, what it takes to create good food, and the perils and positives of those intensely hot, blood-boilingly stressful, and amazingly sublime fourteen-hour days.

“D.C. isn’t as stringent and crazy a dining town as New York,” says Barton Seaver, executive chef and partner at Hook (3241 M St. NW). “Young chefs are given a chance to make some headlines.” Seaver, 28, has certainly attracted the spotlight with his chic Georgetown fish restaurant, which serves responsibly sourced seafood and local products. “The way Americans eat is changing. It’s a new form of environmentalism,” he says. “Young chefs are most adept at bringing about that change.”

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