Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants didn’t have to look far for a replacement for Poste Moderne Brasserie executive chef Rob Weland, who parted ways with the Washington restaurant earlier this month. Stepping into his clogs as chef is Dennis Marron, who has been tending the kitchen at Poste’s sister properties in Old Town, The Grille at Morrison House (since 2007) and Jackson 20 (since 2009).
“I love what Rob has done with the place,” says Marron, 37. “He set me up for success.” During Weland’s seven-year run at the the restaurant in the Hotel Monaco, he planted a large organic garden, which became a stage for his popular grill parties, and instituted “20 Bites at Poste,” a parade of seasonal small plates served at four seats overlooking the open kitchen.
Marron, who starts his new job Monday, says it’s too early to know what changes he’ll make. The next few weeks, he says, will involve “assessing what the space and the clientele want it to be.” Any mandate from higher up? “I have free rein,” says Marron, who also counts three years of cooking at Bistro Bis on his resume and has a soft spot for French fare. “I love taking classic dishes and putting a spin on them.” At the Grille at Morrison House, for instance, he dressed up his salmon with mustard foam and his beef beef bourguignon with carrot puree rather than ordinary roasted vegetables.
No word yet on who will replace Marron at the two restaurants in Alexandria.