Today we shed a tear into our duck confit as news breaks that L.A.’s talented Texas-born, Perigord-raised French chef Sebastien Archambault has departed our L’Epicerie and our fair city for a job in Washington, D.C. The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema reports that Archambault recently joined Blue Duck Tavern as its new executive chef, where he’s been stuck to The Park Hyatt restaurant’s wood-burning oven for at least the last week.
Following esteemed experiences working in kitchens in France and Mexico, Archambault made a major splash in helping resuscitate the Hyatt on Sunset with his cassoulet, charcuterie, and confit at RH at Andaz. After garnering major kudos from The L.A. Times, the chef left RH at Andaz in March 2011 to join fellow Frenchie Thierry Perez’s L’Epicerie, which retained the chef’s impeccable touch in an everyday neighborhood setting, making refined French technique very accessible to all, even if it didn’t knock Sherry’s socks off.
Archambault plans to bring all of the dishes we loved to D.C. and even hints at a foray into the ceviche he prepared in Mexico. In a final swipe at the city, The Post says Archambault is looking forward to “Feeding an audience that will eat richer food,” somehow unaware that our preferences falls towards Animal, Roy Choi, Lazy Ox Canteen, Brendan Collins, and Picca’s mystery meat over salads with dressing on the side these days.
So which French heavyweight will fill his shoes? No word just yet, as L’Epicerie hasn’t made any announcements about Archambault’s departure. However, it appears the restaurant is trying to directly converse with inspired Gallic gastronomer Laurent Quenioux on Twitter on some important news, so who knows what could come next?
Blue Duck Tavern taps a top toque [Washington Post]