Trabocchi's Fiola gets an executive chef

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

RAMPING UP: As he moves closer to a target date of April 5 for his highly anticipated Fiola, star chef Fabio Trabocchi says he has hired Miles Vaden, whose departure from the kitchen at Eventide in Arlington was announced last week, as executive chef for his forthcoming Italian trattoria in Washington.

Trabocchi says he selected Vaden, 33, whom he refers to as "a rising star," for his cooking skills and maturity. "I want to help him get to the next level," says Trabocchi, who dazzled Washington audiences with his four-star cooking at the late Maestro and New York audiences at the now-shuttered Fiamma.

Trabocchi's additional hires suggest he's also serious about wine, cocktails and dessert at Fiola. Adrian Reynolds, a former sommelier at the white-hot Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, will oversee grape matters; Jeff Faile is coming from behind the bar at Palena in Cleveland Park to mix drinks; and Jason Gehring, the former pastry chef at the esteemed Charleston in Baltimore, is reprising that role here.

The 160-seat Fiola in Penn Quarter replaces Le Paradou. The new Italian restaurant, says its chef-owner, will continue "the democratization of fine dining."

Translation: high-end ingredients, simple processes and a modernized regional Italian menu that's "affordable and viable for a larger audience," he says.

Fiola's address, at 678 Indiana Ave. NW, represents a homecoming for the first-time restaurant owner. Known as Bice in the mid-1990s, it was the location of Trabocchi's first cooking job in the United States.

- Tom Sietsema

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