Changes at Buck’s Fishing & Camping

April 11, 2013

The chef at Buck’s Fishing & Camping is ditching the kitchen for her first love. Vickie Reh says she is leaving the arty American restaurant after nearly four years to design the wine program for two future restaurants she declined to name because details are still being worked out.

More certain: Her last dinner service at Buck’s will be April 20, after which Reh, a certified sommelier since 2011, plans to spend much of spring and summer on the road visiting wine sources, first in California, later in France and Italy.


Buck's Camping & Fishing chef Vickie Reh is leaving the Chevy Chase restaurant to study New World wine. (Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post)

“I’m really into wine,” says Reh, whose work resume backs her up. Prior to Buck’s, she was a consultant at both Cork Wine Bar in Logan Circle and Arrowine in Arlington. She was also a sous chef at the late Food Matters in Alexandria.

“I pop back and forth,” between wine stores and restaurant kitchens, says Reh, who is leaving with the blessing of owner James Alefantis to study New World wines with more intensity than her chef gig would allow.

Alefantis doesn't have a replacement for Reh in mind, but he’s busy with plans to celebrate Buck’s 10th anniversary in October, starting with a new front patio, open as of last night. The 45-seat expansion is where he plans to stage a “sausagefest” in June with the help of his business partner, chef Oliver Miller in Berlin — as in Germany, where the two men co-own (who knew?) Nalu, an American diner with Hawaiian accents.

Regulars at Alefantis’s Washington restaurant can rest easy: The menu there will remain, as he says, “Bucksian.”

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.
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