Jarad Slipp of CityZen joins RdV Vineyards

November 18, 2013

The restaurant director of four-star CityZen is leaving not just his glam post at the Mandarin-Oriental hotel, but also the industry he’s been steeped in for 14 years.


(Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C.)

Or, as Jarad Slipp puts it, “I’m going from the best restaurant in the city to a world-class winery” in Virginia, specifically RdV Vineyards in Delaplane. While he says he’s willing to ring out the year at CityZen, where he’s worked the past five years, Slipp, 38, has already started at RdV, where he holds the newly created position of estate director.

RdV is owned by Rutger de Vink and produces exceptional Bordeaux-style wines.

Slipp’s new job description: “Everything. Some days I’ll be in the vineyard. Some days I’ll be in the cellar,” says Slipp, who will also be on the road on behalf of the brand. Among his goals is to make the winery more accessible to the public.

The transition at CityZen, led by top chef Eric Ziebold, is expected to be a smooth one; Slipp’s replacement is restaurant captain Michael Chesser, who has been with the luxury establishment more than seven years.

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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