This morning, DC area residents celebrated with the announcement that Diane Gross & Khalid Pitts, Co-Owner’s of Logan Circle’s Cork Wine Bar tapped Chef Robert Weland as Cork’s new Executive Chef. Last month, the DC area was shocked when Chef Weland announced his departure from Poste Modern Brasserie, after seven years. At Poste, he captivated Washington, DC foodies for his creative dishes and ability to meld extraordinary flavor and comfortable presentation. At the same time, he earned the respect of the industry with his commitment to seasonal and sustainably grown products. Chef Weland will be taking the helm at Cork’s kitchen beginning October 25th, 2011.
“There is a fantastic synergy between Chef Weland’s ability to take simple ingredients and maximize and amplify flavors using the best seasonal fare and Cork Wine Bar’s commitment to delivering delicious, flavorful and uncomplicated dishes,” say Gross & Pitts. “As diners, we have always been impressed with the menus and creative dinners of Chef Weland and are thrilled to be working with him at Cork.” At Cork, Chef Weland will be enhancing the Wine Bar’s focus on locally sourced foods, and will add an extended showcase of seasonal fare to Cork’s menus to compliment Cork’s signature dishes. “Cork’s menu has a solid fan base. We will be continuing to share some loved signatures while adding several new dishes to the menu which will show Cork’s renewed commitment to seasonal foods and local buying,” says Chef Weland.
“I am excited to be at Cork Wine Bar and have already started re-connecting with many of the local purveyors with whom I have worked and love,” says Chef Weland. “Cork was my wife and I’s first post-baby date and has always been a special place for us. Diane & Khalid are focused owners with a great commitment to detail, and I am thrilled to work with them on the Cork experience.”
Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in 1988, Weland has worked at kitchens ranging from casual Manhattan neighborhood bistros to a Michelin two-star restaurant. After the CIA, Chef Weland worked at the Ritz-Carlton in New York, where after a year he was granted a sabbatical to work in Lyon at the two-star Michelin restaurant Pierre Orsi. Returning to the United States, Weland held positions working with 2-star Michelin chef Philippe Reininger at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, Adrienne in the Peninsula Hotel and First in Manhattan’s East Village.
Continuing his culinary pursuit in New York, Weland earned two and a half stars from Crain’s at Marguery Grill. As Executive Chef at Larry Forgione’s An American Place, Weland earned critical praise from New York Times Food Critic William Grimes who wrote that Weland “knows the difference between simple and simple-minded” and “achieves a wonderful balance and interplay of flavors.” Chef Weland made his first appearance on the Washington DC, culinary scene as Executive Chef at Poste Moderne Brasserie in May 2004 where he focused on organic and sustainable ingredients often from Poste’s own garden and working with local purveyors. His dedication to sustainability and seasonality has given him a strong following and respect in the city.