With April in Washington comes Cherry Blossoms, the opening of Nationals Park and yes, the long anticipated opening of the largest non-gaming hotel on the East Coast: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. While many in DC want to believe that this development along the Potomac called National Harbor just popped up overnight … a hospitality surprise; the reality is that this has been a decade in the making. And imagine their surprise when they see that the old Wilson Bridge is gone and in its place there is a 12-lane double span bridge delivering traffic across the river to Maryland and Virginia.
The chefs of the 2000-room hotel and convention center have been their new kitchens fast track work outs in advance of the guests that arrived as early as March 29. Today April 1 is the first official opening date for the hotel.
Here is the opening culinary team to drive the food and beverage operations … they appear on the April cover of my magazine … and now, from left to right:
Wolfgang Birk – Executive Chef and General Manager, Old Hickory
Juan Natal – Executive Chef, Pienza
Holger Frohlich – Executive Chef, Conference Center
Gunnard Cunningham – Vice President, Food & Beverage
Duane Keller – Executive Chef, Moon Bay
Gregg Malsbary – Executive Chef, In-Room Dining
Matthew Raiford– Executive Chef, Galaxy Diner