As swiftly as Chef Sasha Felikson announced his departure from Doi Moi over the weekend on social media, the Southeast Asian restaurant introduced Johanna Hellrigl as its new executive chef.
Washingtonians might know her from her pop-up dinner and catering business, Johanna’s Table, but she has also lead kitchens at Via Umbria and Boulangerie Christophe.
The Southeast Asian spirit of the restaurant will remain intact, but Hellrigl hopes to expand the breadth of cuisines from Vietnamese and Thai to also include Cambodian, Indonesian, and Sri Lankan flavors.
Before she joined the restaurant industry, Hellrigl spent more than four years working for a democracy building organization that empowers women around the globe by increasing their political participation. Through her work she met women from Southeast Asia who introduced her to their cooking.
As a part of the restaurant’s new chapter, Hellrigl plans to launch new desserts, a new brunch menu, and more substantial bites at downstairs sister bar 2 Birds 1 Stone.
As for Felikson’s next move, the chef—reached over the weekend—said, “I love D.C. I wanna stay. But I gotta be involved with something cool. And progressive. Otherwise, I’m just turning my wheels.” He also noted that his departure was accompanied by a much larger wave of personnel changes at Doi Moi, including a new general manager and manager.
For now, he’s consulting on Dacha Beer Garden’s spring menu, which is inspired by his Eastern European heritage. Don’t miss the golubtzi (cabbage rolls).
Doi Moi, 1800 14th St. NW; (202) 733-5131; doimoidc.com