Chef Michael Bonk parted ways Saturday with EatWell DC, where he served as the culinary director of the group that operates The Pig, Commissary, Logan Tavern, and more. Most notably, Bonk was the creative mind behind The Bird in Logan Circle, where he was also a part owner.
Replacing him at The Bird is Tracy O’Grady, formerly of Willow in Arlington and Campono in D.C. “In time, she may well take over the culinary role” for the group, says EatWell DC principal David Winer.
Bonk is staying in the area and hopes to open his own restaurant in D.C. or Virginia, or at least his own sausage company. “I don’t want to work for someone else,” he says. “I’m debating about going back to a fine dining environment or to get a more quality-of-life job. I might start a sausage company.” He’s even taking himself on a sausage tour of Chicago for research.
“Michael has chef ADD [Attention Deficit Disorder] where he has to have a new menu all the time,” Winer says. “That’s what excites him.”
The agreement at The Bird was for Bonk to develop a new menu quarterly, but that wasn’t enough. “It dawned on him that he wants to do his own food, and I encouraged him. I want him to be happy.”
O’Grady will slowly be putting her own spin on the menu at The Bird, which is best known for adventurous dishes like emu tartare.
The Bird, 1337 11th St. NW; (202) 518-3609; thebirddc.com