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Chef Jeremy Waybright brought a buzz to downtown restaurant Boss Shepherd’s with his textbook fried chicken. “I’ve consistently heard about it, I’m the fried chicken man,” he says. But Waybright can do way more. After Boss Shepherd’s, Waybright made a quick stop as the executive chef at Range in Chevy Chase, but he’s now landed at The Riggsby as the throwback restaurant’s new chef de cuisine. He replaces Philippe Reininger, who is now at Casolare.
Waybright started this month and says he digs the way the Chef Michael Schlow serves retro American classics with just enough of a twist. “It has a speakeasy feel,” Waybright says. “You get that vibe that you’re in the 1920s when hotels were grand.”
He’s still getting his feet wet but hopes to add some flare when the fall menu rolls out, including adding caviar service, a cheese program, and dishes that benefit from table-side service. “This is a chance to put all those antique historic cookbooks to really good use,” he says.
A recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina, served as inspiration for the chef because he visited the new McCrady’s Tavern from Chef Sean Brock, who is also tapping into America’s culinary past with dishes like “calf’s head soup” from The Unrivaled Cookbook that holds am 1885 copyright.
Since Waybright’s not planning to make a complete menu overhaul, you won’t have to kiss The Riggsby’s Schnitzel “A La Holstein” goodbye, but the chef does plan to introduce a fried chicken night so D.C. denizens can once again bite into his super crispy bird. Details on which night are forthcoming.
The Riggsby, 1731 New Hampshire Ave. NW; (202) 787-1500; theriggsby.com