Ex-Whaley’s Chef Daniel Perron Is Leading the Kitchen at Trummer’s in Clifton

The chef is revamping the menu at the seasonal Virginia restaurant.

Trummer's chef Daniel Perron. Photo by Jennifer Chase.

The last time Daniel Perron cooked at Clifton restaurant Trummer’s, then in its fine dining iteration Trummer’s on Main, he was a line chef attending culinary school. Nine years later, after stints at glitzy dining rooms like Fiola Mare and the Oval Room, and leading the kitchen at now-shuttered seafood spot Whaley’s, Perron is back at Trummer’s— this time as executive chef.

“It feels like I’m back at home,” says Perron.

Rotisserie chicken. Photo by Jennifer Chase.

In addition to revamping the menu, Perron is bringing in new cooking methods to the rotisserie-powered kitchen. When Whaley’s housed a shabu-shabu pop-up  he began utilizing a Japanese binchotan grill. At Trummer’s, he plans to use the bintochan for Korean-style kalbi skewers and other meats. Perron’s Korean heritage manifests in small touches across the menu, such as monkfish marinated in spicy-sour kimchi.

Koginut squash soup served in a koginut squash. Photo by Jennifer Chase.

The chef will continue Trummer’s relationships with local farmers and purveyors, including sourcing sustainable mushrooms from foragers like Arcadia Venture and procuring seeds from Row 7 Seeds, a company that cross-pollinates produce to create new varietals. At Trummer’s, Perron is blending Row 7’s sweet koginut squash into a soup with hazelnut dukkah and foie gras, paired with habanada peppers (a habanero bred to have all the flavor and none of the kick).

“I’m still young and I’m still ambitious,” says Perron. “I just try to push every day, try to be creative, and see where it can go.”

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.