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Former Society Fair baker and Palena alum Jonathan Copeland will lead the kitchen of Ghibellina, the Italian gastropub coming to 1610 14th St. NW from the owners of Acqua al 2.

Check out Copeland’s bio via a press release:

Jonathan Copeland, 37, most recently worked at Society Fair (Eat Good Food Group) where he has been a bread baker. Previously, Mr. Copeland had two stints covering 6 years at Palena Restaurant. He ultimately held the position of chef de cuisine of Palena Café, which garnered a three-and-a-half star review from The Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema (October 16, 2011) under his stewardship.

In between his two stints at Palena, Jonathan Copeland moved to New York City where he cooked at the Michelin starred Spotted Pig in Manhattan and Franny’s in Brooklyn (recently named one of the 101 best places to eat in North America by a Newsweek/Daily Beast poll of 53 of the world’s best chefs).

Raised in the Washington DC area, Mr. Copeland graduated from the University of California, San Diego and L’academie de cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He enjoys bold flavors and authenticity, and has a respect for the seasons. His favorite kitchen tools are his wood-burning oven and his wooden spoon.

Hopefully his baking background will mean some great pizza doughs. Copeland and Acqua al 2’s Ari Gejdenson are currently in Florence working on the new menu, but we’ll report more on their plans when they return.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that former Seventh Hill pizzaiolo Anthony Pilla was initially named chef of Ghibellina and then pulled out to work for H &pizza. In fact, Gejdenson says there were talks of Pilla coming to work for Ghibellina, but he was never actually hired.

Photo of Ghibellina before construction