Renowned chef returns to DC in partnership with Salamander Washington

Kwame Onwuachi attends the Outside Lands Music Festival at Golden Gate Park on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in San Francisco. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)(Amy Harris/Invision/AP/Amy Harris)
Salamander Washington D.C. hotel in Southwest. (Courtesy Salamander Washington DC)
Kwame Onwuachi, a former chef at the Kith/Kin restaurant at The Wharf, is returning to D.C. in a partnership with the Salamander Collection, and its Salamander Washington D.C. hotel in Southwest.

Salamander Resorts & Spa took over the location of the former Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and a new restaurant is among several changes it plans to make. The original high-end resort is located in Middleburg, Virginia, and is owned by businesswoman Sheila Johnson.

Onwuachi currently owns Tatiana in New York City and has written several books, including the bestselling cookbook “My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef.”

In 2019, he was named Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation.

“The time is right to return to D.C., and I can’t think of a more appropriate location to open a new restaurant that speaks to the character and lineage of D.C. than at this storied Salamander property,” Onwuachi said.

The Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg hosts Onwuachi’s annual multiday culinary event called “The Family Reunion.” This year’s event, in partnership with Food & Wine, is on Aug. 17-20, and is already sold out.

The existing restaurant at the Salamander Washington DC, The Lounge, will undergo a redesign by architects Bentel & Bentel, but Salamander gave no timeline for when the new restaurant would open, or what would be on the menu.

London-based real estate company Henderson Park chose Johnson and Salamander to rebrand and refresh the Mandarin Oriental, after it acquired the 373-room hotel from Mandarin Oriental International last year in a $139 million sale.

Salamander operates other resorts and hotels in Jamaica, Anguilla, Charleston, South Carolina, Florida and Aspen.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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