Chef Gerald Addison is a good fit for Compass Rose’s international menu. Not only has he lived in Nepal, but Addison is a student of global cuisine. “I like taking specific references and geeking out on different types of food and reading,” he says. He can often be found in the aisles of bric-a-brac stores looking at old cookbooks.
Addison replaces a string of chefs at the 14th Street corridor hotspot known best for its cheesy, canoe-shaped Georgian khachapuri, cocktails, and Bedouin tent dinner parties. Though he plans to start rolling out new menu items over the next few weeks—including a Nepalese-inspired cauliflower dish—the khachapuri is safe. “I realized going into this that it was something I couldn’t touch,” Addison says.
The chef is a D.C. native, having grown up in Adams Morgan, and his first professional cooking gig was at Restaurant Nora in 2003. In 2007, he honed his culinary skills at culinary school in New York City, where he worked until 2012 at places like Alta Restaurant and The National.
Then it was out to California for a few years before Addison returned to D.C. to be the sous chef at Eat the Rich. He also opened A Baked Joint as the head chef and worked as chef de cuisine atBaltimore’s Parts & Labor. Most recently, Addison has been lending a hand at Jack Rose Dining Saloon.
While Addison was in Baltimore, he developed working relationships with small farms like Moon Valley Farm that he hopes to maintain in his new position. “They just started bringing stuff to D.C., and I’m helping them get a couple of clients here,” Addison says. “They’re interested in listening to what chefs want.”
Compass Rose owner Rose Previte recognizes that her restaurant has had some turnover since it opened in spring 2014, but she says, “I really think this one is going to stick.”
Compass Rose, 1346 T St. NW; (202) 506-4765; compassrosedc.com