PHOTOS: Michelin Star Reveal Party at the French Ambassador’s Residence

Chef Matt Baker's Gravitas, Chef Masaaki Uchino's Sushi Nakazawa, and restaurateur Rose Previte's Maydan are all newcomers to the Michelin Guide's one-star list for 2020.
Dan About Town

About Dan About Town

Party photographer Dan Swartz’s diary of bashes, benefits, and galas.

It was a star-studded evening Tuesday at the French ambassador’s residence in Kalorama for the reveal celebration of the 2020 Michelin Guide for Washington, DC.

While this year’s rankings had already been announced earlier in the day, the night served as a rare opportunity to unite the DC culinary community in toasting the new honorees.

Sprinkled in amongst the chefs was the District’s typical mix of politicians, journalists, philanthropists, and business leaders — all eager to take a quick trip to France (the diplomatic residence counts as French soil after all) for a few hours.

Further enticing the crowd were the menu items on offer at Tuesday’s soirée, which principally came courtesy of the Michelin-starred kitchen team at Masseria (the restaurant had closed for the night so that the staff could focus on the Michelin party).

The District’s top eateries have generally taken turns catering the event in years past (both ThinkFoodGroup and Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants have taken the reins before, for example). This year it was Chef Nick Stefanelli who picked up the mantle with a tasty spread of his fan favorites, including his addictive “foienoli” bites, thick slices of porchetta, and bowls of risotto served piping hot out of a wheel of Parmesan cheese.

And while it might have seemed like the dozens of chefs mingling about, along with French Ambassador Philippe Étienne and US Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito, were the most popular people in the room based on all of the selfies being taken, the Michelin Man (actually named Bibendum) quickly disproved that thought as soon as he set foot (tire?) in the room.

A parade of black SUVs dropped guests off at the entrance to the French Ambassador’s residence.
Martha-Ann Bomgardner Alito, Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and The Inn at Little Washington’s Chef Patrick O’Connell.
Masseria’s famed “foienoli” bites were served to guests.
Evan Jones, Amy and Bret Baier, and Cindy Jones.
The 2020 Michelin Guide for Washington, D.C.
French Ambassador to the United States Philippe Étienne welcomes guests to the reception.
EDENS CEO Jodie McLean, Bibendum (aka “the Michelin Man”), and Pierre de Lucy de Fossarieu.
United Polaris trolley carts were used to serve certain snacks to guests, as a sponsor of the night.
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, presents Chef Aaron Silverman with his third set of “Michelin Whites” for Little Pearl’s newfound one-star status. Silverman already has sets for Rose’s Luxury’s one star, and Pineapple and Pearl’s two stars.
Minibar head Chef Jorge Luis Hernández, Minibar R&D Chef Ruben Mosquero, and Minibar General Manager Jhonatan Cano.
Lorraine and Chris Wallace admire the 18th century “Dauphin Perle” hunting table built for Louis XIII, which sits at the entrance to the ambassador’s residence.
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, Masseria owner and Chef Nick Stefanelli, and Shawn Townsend, Director of the DC Mayor’s Office of Nightlife & Culture.
Michelin “starred” bread from DC’s Lyon Bakery.
Maria and Chef Fabio Trabocchi, the power couple behind the Michelin-starred Fiola, Fiola Mare, Del Mar, and Sfoglina empire.
Tracy Bernstein, Gloria Dittus, and Christa Dittus.
French Ambassador Philippe Étienne and Patricia Étienne (right side) greet Martha-Ann Bomgardner Alito and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
MGM National Harbor’s Malik Husser, Jenni Izumi, Fiola Head Sommelier Jennifer Foucher, and Cornell Belcher.
Timothy Lowery and Michael Zingali.
Slices of Masseria’s “Porchetta w/ Pear Mostarda” were served.
Azerbaijan Ambassador Elin Suleymanov, Lala Abdurahimova, Gladys Abi-Najm, and former Congressman Ed Royce.
Louis XIV’s 18th century hunting table is but one of the works of art on display inside the French ambassador’s residence.
Melonie Favorite, Nycci Nellis, Four-Starred Michelin Chef Aaron Silverman (two for Pineapple and Pearls, one for Rose’s Luxury, and one for Little Pearl), and Conrad Kenley.
Vintage French Citroëns were on display outside the residence for the occasion.
The Dabney owner and Michelin-starred Chef Jeremiah Langhorne, Jenny Langhorne, and Abbey Slitor.
The Inn at Little Washington General Manager Robert Fasce and Chef Eric Ziebold, whose Kinship and Métier restaurants each have a Michelin star.
The crowded arrival hall at the residence last night.
The Inn at Little Washington’s kitchen team.
Steve Ross and Ellen Hunter.
Minibar’s Jhonatan Cano and Jorge Hernandez celebrated the José Andrés flagship’s two Michelin stars with matching socks.
Slices of Spanish Jamón Ibérico from Arturo Sánchez were quickly snapped up.