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Andrew Zimmern, your host for all foods bizarre, has a short Q&A with former Hook chef de cuisine Joshua Whigham, who was recently anointed to lead the kitchen at the four-star performer, The Bazaar by José Andrés.
Among other questions, Zimmern asked Whigham how the D.C. food scene differs from L.A.’s. Whigham’s answer is essentially a tribute to his boss:
What I miss about DC is the ever-changing restaurant scene. When I moved there, it was growing exponentially; now, there are exciting places to eat and unique, hidden gems around each corner. I also miss the DC diners, who are such an interesting group that is always open to change.
In LA, it is an exciting time for the people here. There has never been a restaurant like The Bazaar before. I sense a change coming for the restaurant scene here as well. Something that Jose, Sam Nazarian and Philippe Starck have contributed is the creation of an atmosphere and food which has completely raised the bar. I attribute a lot of the changes that have happened in DC to Jose. He was one of the prominent chefs who has made DC what it is today. I can’t wait to see what happens here in LA. What excites me about LA is that, here in southern California, we are the hub for the entire country’s food supply. The produce and its quality are amazing! It is exciting to go to the farmers market in Santa Monica and see what the farms are producing. And to have access to it is unreal. Don’t get me wrong, the east coast has some amazing produce as well, but being here is something special.
Zimmern also asked Whigham to name his favorite places to eat in D.C. The chef’s answers included two Andrés properties (where Whigham worked no less) and one closed restaurant:
My five favorite places to eat in DC are: Zaytinya, Don Juans for the pupusas, CommonWealth Pub, Vegetate, Proof and Cafe Atlantico for the guacamole and mojitos (the best I’ve ever had!).
I believe that numbers six restaurants, Joshua. Then again, Vegetate is closed, but the word is that the owners are scouting new locations.