Blue Duck Tavern Scores a New Head Chef

Ryan LaRoche takes charge of one of Washington's top restaurants.

One of Washington's top eateries has a new team in the kitchen. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Blue Duck Tavern has seen a number of staff changes of late, including the departure of chef de cuisine John Melfi for a spot on the line at Fiola Mare. More recently, lead toque Sebastien Archambault traded one Park Hyatt restaurant for another, leaving BDT for the luxury hotel chain’s New York eatery, the Back Room at One57. During the transition time at Blue Duck there were rumblings that the swanky New American spot wasn’t living up to its typically stellar reputation. 

Now there’s a new culinary team in charge. Chef Ryan LaRoche is stepping into the executive chef role, backed by an impressive résumé that includes leading positions at NoMi, the Park Hyatt Chicago’s award-winning concept, and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas. Working directly under him will be chef de cuisine Brad Deboy, who’s been promoted after working at Blue Duck Tavern for three years as a leading line cook and then sous chef. 

We’ll keep you updated on any menu changes as the team settles in. 

Find Anna Spiegel on Twitter at @annaspiegs.

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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.