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Extensive Culinary Team Changes at Blue Duck Tavern

PHOTO: Blue Duck Tavern courtesy of BDT

It is a well-established fact that Blue Duck Tavern (BDT), under the leadership of then-Executive Chef Sebastien Archambault (now with Park Hyatt NYC at One57) and then-Chef de Cuisine John Melfi, was my favorite restaurant in D.C. Perennially, year-in and year-out, I would make an annual pilgrimage for my birthday and other special events.

Since Sebastien left for NYC and John left for Fiola Mare (and now The Oval Room), Blue Duck Tavern has seemed to struggle with maintaining steadiness in the kitchen as well as enabling a friendly accessibility to the food. Rumors abounded while I was on the road about how the menu had become almost too “gastronomic” (whatever that means) for the average dinner. Perhaps this was good enough evidence as to why -- in the just announced news today -- a near full-scale revamp of kitchen leadership has occurred a mere year after a new Executive Chef was named.

Drama, drama!

Poaching from Hotel Sofitel Lafayette Square, the new BDT Executive Chef is Franck Loquet, creator of the best Cassoulet I have had on the East Coast. Hopefully, his French training with Alain Ducasse’s culinary empire will bringing a sharp focus back on the cuisine to the brasserie environment BDT was formerly well-known for before, again allegedly, veering too much into dishes far beyond the scope of the average diner.

Brad DeBoy will remain as Chef de Cuisine but with Pastry Chef Naomi Gallego leaving as well, the new Pastry Chef will be David Collier from Dallas, Texas. Prior to this appointment, Collier served for approximately two years as the pastry chef for Spoon Bar & Kitchen in Dallas, which was named among the “Top 50 New Restaurants in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler and “Top Three in America” by Bon Appetit.

I look forward to visiting my favorite restaurant in D.C. to see how Frank and the new culinary team present their offerings to their fans.

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