Executive Chef, Plume
The Michelin starred and only Forbes five-star rated restaurant in the nation’s capital features executive chef: Ralf Schlegel, a native of Germany with extensive experience in prestigious European kitchens. Leading the kitchen since 2014, Schlegel oversees Plume restaurant, Quill lounge, and the entire Jefferson, DC hotel. At the age of 11, Ralf Schlegel and his family fled from East Germany to the West, where their life began to prosper, and his culinary journey began. His daily chores took place after his homework, by preparing the mise-en-place for dinner in the kitchen of one of his town’s fabled restaurants and hotels run by his parents, master trained chefs and hoteliers. Ralf excelled through Germany’s rigorous training program for chefs and, like his parents, became certified as a “Staatlich geprüfter Küchenmeister” [“kitchen master”]. His career experience includes leadership posts at a number of acclaimed German and Austrian restaurants and hotels, as well as various positions in Italy, Denmark, and Sweden. Before joining the team at The Jefferson, he spent two years as executive sous chef at notable Washington, DC restaurant, Marcel’s. David Bueno, General Manager of The Jefferson, says of Schlegel; “Ralf has been an integral member of the staff since he started here in 2011 as executive sous chef. His hard work and talent have contributed to the great success of The Jefferson, and to the critical acclaim of Plume in particular. At the helm of the culinary program, his remarkable creativity will flourish, and it is exciting to see his constantly evolving vision.” That vision is evident in the menu of ‘authentic’ cuisine Schlegel develops for Plume, based on his notion of Washington as a steakhouse town. Making use of the finest ingredients and his extensive technical expertise, he presents exquisite cuisine with the advantage of a clear international perspective. In addition to the honors garnered by Plume, The Jefferson has attracted top rankings from Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, and U.S. News and World Report. As ‘the second most notable address in Washington,’ The Jefferson, DC is the capital city’s premier boutique hotel.