Washington, D.C.:Â Marcelâ€™s,Â Brasserie Beck / Alexandria, Virginia:Â Brabo
Coriander & Fennel Encrusted Wild Alaska Salmon in a Citrus Emulsion.Â Click to see recipe.
Chef and Proprietor Wiedmaier developed a strong passion for the culinary arts at a young age while growing up in Germany. A family subscription to the French newspaper â€śLe Mondeâ€ť provided him with key insights into the lives of famed chefs. Born to a father who is 100% Belgian and a mother who is Californian, Wiedmaier was given a chance to see and experience ingredient-based cuisine with the freshest produce, meat and dairy.
Wiedmaier attended the Culinary School of Horca in the Netherlands. His apprenticeship at the Thermidor Restaurant, a Michelin two-star establishment in Hulst, Holland, brought him to Brussels to work with famed Chef Eddie Van Maele. In 1986, he took the position as Saucier at Le Chardon Dâ€™Or in the Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, bringing him to the United States for the first time in his culinary career.
In 1988, Wiedmaier joined the team at the renowned Le Pavillion as Chef Poissonnier, which featured the finest nouvelle French cuisine in the city. A year later, the Four Seasons Hotel, the most prominent hotel in Washington, D.C., offered Wiedmaier the Sous Chef position for their Aux Beaux Champs restaurant under the tutorial direction of Chef Douglas McNeill. For over seven years, Wiedmaierâ€™s European experience contributed to the upscale French cuisine of this prestigious restaurant and the hotelâ€™s catered events.
Chef Wiedmaier opened CafĂ© on M at The Grand Hotel in 1994. This restaurant gave Wiedmaier a personal venue for utilizing his culinary roots and is where he established his critically acclaimed French Cuisine flavored with a Flemish Flair.
In June of 1996, The Watergate Hotel asked Wiedmaier to oversee and manage the culinary operations for the hotel. He also undertook the re-design of the kitchen and opened their then-new restaurant, Aquarelle. Wiedmaier replaced Executive Chef Jean-Louis Palladin, whose tenure at the hotel had been immensely successful as well as having been a strategic mentor to Wiedmaier.
In March of 1999, Robert Wiedmaier opened Marcelâ€™s restaurant, named after his first-born son who was born in December 1998. Wiedmaierâ€™s fine dining establishment has received significant acclaim for his cuisine; the Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year award by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington in 2004, annually maintains top ratings from Washingtonian magazine and The Washington Post dining guides and is rated in the Top Five Food category by Zagat. Wiedmaier along with his two sons, appeared in his own segment, â€śRockfish Round-Up in the Chesapeake Bayâ€ť on PBSâ€™s award-winning series, Chefâ€™s a Field, Kids on the Farm, Season Three.
Eight years later, in April of 2007, Wiedmaier opened his second restaurant, the instantly successful Brasserie Beck, named after his younger son, located only one mile away from Marcelâ€™s. Brasserie Beck boasts the regionâ€™s most comprehensive Belgian beer list that complements his classical, Belgian casual fare of Mussels & Frites, Carbonnade and Waterzooie in a contemporary, atmosphere. Esquire magazine named Beckâ€™s as one of the Best New Restaurants in America, 2007.
In 2008, Wiedmaier forged a partnership with the San Francisco based, Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group to open three distinctive food and wine experiences at the new, Lorien Hotel and Spa in Alexandria, Virginia.Â Designed by acclaimed Vicente Wolf, the hotelâ€™s restaurant, Brabo features a traditional 105-seat dining room, a wine tasting room with a wood-burning oven and Alexandriaâ€™s first gourmet retail store. Wiedmaier oversees the hotelâ€™s entire food and beverage operations for meeting and banquet spaces. This project opened in 2009.
In his free time, Wiedmaier enjoys fishing and hunting with his two sons and riding his Harley-Davidson. He and his wife Polly live in Kensington, MD with their two sons, Marcel and Beck.