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“FROM EVERYWHERE WITH LOVE” THE CUISINE OF CHEF JONATHAN HAAG

Food and Travel

“FROM EVERYWHERE WITH LOVE” THE CUISINE OF CHEF JONATHAN HAAG

If the line for cupcakes in Georgetown are too long to endure, walk down M Street and explore the culinary delights from Dean and Deluca’s new Executive Chef, Jonathan Haag.

If the line for cupcakes in Georgetown is too long to endure, walk down M Street and explore the culinary delights from Dean and Deluca’s new Executive Chef, Jonathan Haag.

In the soul of Georgetown and less than a half mile walk from a certain bakery that has customers in line for a cupcake two blocks long,  Dean and Deluca sits handsomely on the corner of M St NW and Potomac St NW. Specializing in the best gourmet foods and wines, all the while offering high quality yet curiously eclectic meals, this upscale market allows you the opportunity to unwind on their patio as you watch the masses traversing on by, or simply have a good talk with a good friend.

The welcoming of Dean and Deluca’s new Executive Chef, Jonathan Haag, was why I was here and it was a transcendental culinary experience indeed. Mr. Haag was born in Seoul, South Korea and was adopted into a Dutch-Irish family at a young age. Much later in life, after spending years in Hawaii and meeting his wife there along the way, he picked up an entirely new side of cuisine which opened his mind even further. It is obvious that Mr. Haag’s roots have given grounds to many intricate concepts of food that have led to his ability to merge different pallets of flavor into the ultimate creation that ends up on your fork.

Wine and cheese boards were presented in the most orderly of fashion, and I, as well as the other guests in attendance, sampled some of the new Chef’s work. Handed out initially was the ‘Black Bean and Corn Fritter topped with cilantro and guacamole’ which was a fresh take on America’s beloved Tex Mex style. We were then introduced to ‘Sweet Miso Scallops on shiso leaves topped with sprouts and wasabi aioli’ which could please any coastal living community. Everything suddenly freshened up for the beginning of summertime after a meeting with ‘Cucumber-watermelon-feta salad in a paper-thin pastry dough’.  And now, Vicariously, we took a trip to Hawaii as we tried the ‘Ahi tuna in an edible cone, topped with salmon roe”. And at last, there was meaty happiness in the ‘Morrocan spiced lamb on a skewer’.

Chef Jonathan took some time to let me know a little bit more about his cooking background and himself. “Asian and Italian are my favorite cuisines to prepare,” he said as I multi-tasked with another one of his hors d’œuvres in my mouth, “My way of cooking is simple, clean and refreshing. I don’t overdo it. If there is anything I learned from my time in Hawaii, then it is that I want you to taste each and every ingredient.”

The love for Mr. Haag and his expertise extends beyond the guest’s experience as well. Dean and Deluca’s manager Abdul Blakney, with his four years of experience at the restaurant, describes their new executive chef as “The best in creativity. Someone who thinks outside the box and communicates very well.” Co-Manager Brad Ritter added, “I asked him to think of an espresso BBQ rub and he came back to me with eight ideas. And that’s normal for any idea given to him”.

As wonderful and warm as Mr. Haag’s welcoming ceremony was, it was also a pleasure to hear a bit about how he eats at home. Believe it or not, he is still cooking great when the time clock isn’t ticking. He went on to tell me that he loves to please his family at the dinner table and how his eight-year-old is already becoming a food snob as she is developing her adventurous personality in regards to different foods at such an early age. Also, his four years old happens to be a fan of broccoli, edamame, and spinach. However, nothing is more impressive than the fact that the Haag family can handle six pounds of meatballs in two days. Ah, the perks of having a Chef daddy.

For further information of offerings such as luncheons or catering, Dean and Deluca are located at 3276 M St. NW in Washington, DC (Georgetown) and is also readily available for your business or private culinary needs. Please feel free to email them at catering.georgetown@deandeluca.com if you would like more insight into their wide variety of attractive and tantalizing products.

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