Westend Bistro’s Devin Bozkaya is leaving Washington for New York

The top chef at the Westend Bistro is following his heart and relocating to New York state to be closer to his eight-year-old daughter, who moved there with her mother following her parents' separation.

"At the end of the day," says Devin Bozkaya, "family does win."

Devin Bozkaya at Westend Bistro. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

Bozkaya, a former sous chef at the Inn at Little Washington, came to the bistro in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in September 2012. He plans to take a job as chef de cuisine at an unnamed restaurant in Westchester County with the New York-based Altamarea Group, which includes the new Osteria Morini near the Navy Yard.

Bozkaya's last day at the Westend Bistro is March 14, around the same time he and his team are expected to introduce a new spring menu.  Their fresh ideas include pea soup with butter-poached lobster, duck confit pasties and a "cut of the day" featuring different steaks.

Sous chefs Jessica Biederman and Shawn Dougherty will be in charge of the kitchen until a replacement for their boss is named.

The departing chef says he'll miss "the community and the intimacy" of Washington and has no plans to work in Manhattan. "Such an ocean of fish there," as he puts it.

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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