Chef Jennifer Nguyen Splits from Zentan

The high-profile chef suddenly leaves the Kimpton Hotel restaurant.
Chef Jennifer Nguyen Splits from Zentan
Chef Jennifer Nguyen parts ways with Zentan. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Chef Jennifer Nguyen has left the Donovan House’s Zentan to “pursue other opportunities,” according to a representative from the Kimpton Hotel restaurant. Nguyen took over after celebrity chef Susur Lee parted ways with the Asian eatery, and reinvigorated the concept with a new menu and omakase-style tasting bar. 

“We are very grateful for the passion, dedication, and talent she brought to the restaurant and will be actively seeking a new executive chef who can carry the torch of Zentan,” says a statement from the restaurant. “In the meantime, our team remains committed to creating the great Japanese cuisine and warm service our guests have come to expect at Zentan.”

In addition to the restaurant menu, Nguyen also designed Vietnamese-inspired tacos, noodle bowls, and more for the DNV Rooftop lounge. There’s no word yet on where she’s headed, but stay tuned for more details as they develop.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.