MGM National Harbor has named the powerhouse lineup of celebrated chefs—including José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson, and Bryan and Michael Voltaggio—to lead its culinary program when the resort opens in the second half of 2016. Each new concept has been carefully crafted to pay homage to the culture and influence of the region’s prominent culinary landscape.
Creating a true culinary destination for the eastern U.S., MGM National Harbor has partnered with the biggest names in the food world to deliver totally new concepts, exclusive to the resort. Award-winning Spanish American chef José Andrés, renowned for popular dining destinations in Washington, D.C., Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Miami, and most recently, Mexico City, will join the roster along with Ethiopian-born and Sweden-raised acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson, known for his New York City hotspots. Adding local flavor to the mix are brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, natives of Frederick, Maryland, whose victories on Bravo’s popular culinary competition Top Chef made them both national sensations.
“In recent years, the Capital region has become a thriving food destination with many of the best chefs in the world contributing to our booming restaurant scene,” says Bill Boasberg, MGM National Harbor general manager. “We have selected incredible talent to create an unparalleled dining experience at our resort and we are excited to welcome these new concepts and chefs into our company’s award-winning culinary portfolio.”
Andrés will introduce his first seafood-focused concept overlooking the Potomac from the prow of MGM National Harbor. Drawing inspiration from the bounty of the regional watershed, the restaurant’s menu will feature locally sourced ingredients and fresh seafood. Exquisite dishes will incorporate local and international cooking techniques, allowing diners to experience diverse flavor combinations and profiles. Guests will be able to choose from a variety of dining options depending on their preferred experience, including cocktail, sushi or tempura bars with exciting views of interactive kitchen stations, and communal tables or main dining room seating offering commanding views and visually stunning décor.
“I’m thrilled to be announcing my first seafood restaurant in what will be the iconic MGM National Harbor,” Chef Andrés says. "There are so many stories to be told through the astonishing bounty of the sea.”
Named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People,” awarded “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation and named “Chef of the Year” by Bon Appétit and “Hot Restaurateur” by Condé Nast Traveler, Andrés has been a defining force in the culinary world. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the U.S., he is also known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of restaurants that spans 21 concepts throughout the country, in Washington, D.C., Miami, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. He is a committed advocate of food and hunger issues and is known for championing the role of chefs in the national debate on food policy. This work has earned him awards and distinctions such as Outstanding American by Choice, awarded by President Barack Obama, and the McCall-Pierpaoli humanitarian award.
Making his Capital region debut, five-time James Beard Award-winning chef Samuelsson will create a menu honoring his cultural roots while showcasing the distinct coastal flavors of the local landscape. Samuelsson will serve signature creations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with classic dishes like his whole fried chicken that is meant to be shared. His elegant comfort food is anchored around an open kitchen and large grill, a warm and inviting bar with signature cocktails, in addition to a smaller bar that gives guests a peek into the kitchen. Samuelsson’s concept is designed to inspire a celebratory and festive atmosphere, making it the ideal setting for either a special event or a casual stop for a quick snack while enjoying live music.