Nora Pouillon, renowned pioneer of the organic food movement in the U.S., is planning to retire from her restaurant in order to devote more time to the industry she helped launch. Approaching its 38th year in business, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country in 1999 and has been a beacon for restaurants pursuing organic certification.
“At this point in my life, I want to be a leader and an inspiration to share my vision,” Nora says. “Since none of my four children want to take over Restaurant Nora, it won’t be a fast transition. It might take years to find the right person who is as passionate as I am about organic, healthy food, but I have so much confidence in today’s enthusiastic generation of chefs and restaurateurs.”
While Nora’s organic mission takes her outside of the restaurant, Restaurant Nora has been—and will continue to be—an establishment that upholds the highest standards in food sourcing and environmentally responsible cuisine. Nora hopes to pass the baton to someone who shares her passion and commitment to locally sourced and organic food.
Restaurant Nora occupies three historic buildings at 2132 Florida Ave, NW in the burgeoning Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It has been owned and operated by Nora and her partners since 1979, during which time it has been a perennial destination for the “who’s who” of politicians, diplomats, media, and sports personalities.
Nora’s cookbooks and her 2015 memoir My Organic Life: How A Pioneering Chef Changed the Way We Eat Today have supported her profile in the restaurant and organic industries.