This is going to be a hit!
Chef Kwame Onwuachi is a celebrity chef who made a name for himself on Bravo’s hit series Top Chef. Since his time on the show, his popularity has only heightened, authoring multiple books and being named “Rising Star Chef of the Year” in 2019 by The James Beard Foundation, DCist reports.
He made waves in the nation’s capital with his restaurant Kith/Kin, a fine dining establishment boasting a fusion of Afro-Caribbean cuisine. Opening in 2017, the restaurant received critical acclaim before Onwuachi resigned a few years later at the height of the pandemic, leaving patrons disappointed.
While Onwuachi continued to thrive, opening the uber popular Tatiana in his hometown of New York, D.C. has continued calling his name. Now Onwuachi has announced his return to the District, opening a new restaurant at the luxury Black-owned Salamander DC Hotel in Southwest, Washington, D.C.
Salamander DC, formerly the Mandarin Oriental, opened its doors in September 2022 under new management. Owned by Sheila Johnson, BET co-founder and the CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resort, Johnson said she has wanted to bring Onwuachi to the space since she launched.
This isn’t the first collaboration for the two either. For the last three years, Onwuachi and Johnson have teamed up for “Family Reunion,” a multi-day culinary festival of sorts celebrating diversity within the hospitality industry, hosted at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg, Virginia.
Onwuachi’s new restaurant at Salamander DC will be housed in the former CityZen facility, a ground-level space with seating capacity for 400. The restaurant will be redesigned by New York based architects Bentel & Bentel. While there is no word yet on the name of the new hot spot or the menu, Onwuachi said he’s excited to come back to the city that’s shown him so much love.
“The time is right to return to DC, and I can’t think of a more appropriate location to open a new restaurant that speaks to the character and lineage of DC than at this storied Salamander property…As a child, I spent summers in DC with my grandfather, a professor of Pan African studies at Howard University, who shared his passion for the city with me. I fell in love and can’t wait to return,” Onwuachi said via statement.
We’re already making our reservations!
Cover photo: Chef Kwame Onwuachi returns to D.C. with new restaurant at Black-owned luxury hotel/Photo Courtesy of Bravo