RINGING IN THE NEW: The successor to chef Ris Lacoste didn't have to cook a thing to win the job at 1789 (1226 36th St. NW; 202-965-1789). Given his credentials -- years-long kitchen tours under chefs Jeff Buben at Bistro Bis on Capitol Hill and Cathal Armstrong at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria and an earlier stint at Park Avenue Cafe in New York -- Nathan Beauchamp "had to be good," figured Tom Meyer, who interviewed Beauchamp on behalf of the venerable Georgetown restaurant. Meyer, who says he considered a handful of candidates for the position, including someone internally, went with Beauchamp, 30, in part because "we have to keep things fresh. No one comes to town asking, 'What's the oldest restaurant?' "

Lacoste will be ending her 10-year run after dessert on New Year's Eve and eventually plans to open a restaurant of her own. The incoming chef knows he's walking into a restaurant with a fan base that appreciates tradition, so he's leaving Lacoste's popular oyster stew and rack of lamb on the menu. At the same time, he hopes to add some "cutting-edge" touches of his own: riffs on sashimi, for instance, and more exotic meats, including baby goat and tripe. Young as he is, 1789 is not the first time Beauchamp has led a kitchen. When he was only 21, he served as chef de cuisine at the late Table of Contents in St. Paul, Minn.

HEARD IT ON THE GRAPEVINE: Yesterday marked the first day on the job for Kathy Morgan, who recently left her position as sommelier at the Italian-themed Tosca (1112 F St. NW; 202-367-1990) for an expanded role at the modern American 2941 (2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church; 703-270-1500). "2941 is such a great opportunity," says Morgan, whose new title is wine director and sommelier. She says her new employer offers "a bigger, more international program" that should be "extremely helpful" as she completes the goal of receiving master sommelier certification. A veteran of the local restaurant scene, Morgan previously worked at Occidental, The Mark (now Andale) and Asia Nora. The Washington native says she's been interested in wine ever since her father, a Marine Corps officer, shared sips from the cellar he kept in her childhood home.

Nathan Beauchamp takes over 1789's kitchen in 2006.