Eric Ziebold (born 1972) is an award-winning American chef and restaurateur who is executive chef at CityZen, a restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Washington hotel in Washington, D.C, in the United States. Ziebold announced CityZen will close on December 6, 2014, and Ziebold's new restaurant in downtown D.C. will open in the spring of 2015.
Ziebold, who was born in Iowa, began working in restaurants as a teenager after school at Café Maude with mentor chef Matt Nichols. Ziebold spent more time in the restaurant than in class while attending college at the University of Northern Iowa, and decided to transfer to the Culinary Institute of America. After spending some time at Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills, California, and Jeffrey Buben's Vidalia in Washington, D.C., in 1996 Ziebold joined Thomas Keller's The French Laundry in the Napa Valley in California. Ziebold stayed at The French Laundry until 2003, when he moved briefly to New York City to work in Keller's new restaurant, Per Se.
CityZen, Sou'Wester, Muze
Ziebold left New York for Washington, D.C., in early 2004 and opened the critically acclaimed CityZen at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, which serves Modern American cuisine. Ziebold was named one of the "10 most influential chefs working in America" by Forbes in 2007 alongside Dan Barber, Tom Colicchio, and Grant Achatz. CityZen was named best new restaurant of the year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington in June 2005.
In 2009, Ziebold revamped CityZen's sister-restaurant, Café MoZU—changing the cuisine from Asian-themed to American Southern and making the dining experience less formal. The new restaurant, Sou'Wester, opened on September 8, 2009. (Ziebold wanted to call the restaurant South by Southwest, but the South by Southwest film festival protested and Ziebold was forced to choose Sou'Wester.) Ziebold added executive chef duties at Sou'Wester to his portfolio, but installed former CityZen sous-chef Rachel Harriman as the chef de cuisine. Tom Sietsma, food critic of The Washington Post, was strongly critical of the cooking.
Ziebold closed Sou'Wester in December 2013, and replaced it with another informal restaurant, Muze. Ziebold remained executive chef, but installed Mark McDonnell, formerly a chef at local restaurant Rogue 24, as the new chef de cuisine to oversee a more Asian-infused cuisine. Food critic Sietsma found the food a solid improvement, although several dishes were less than impressive.
CityZen closed permanently on December 6, 2014, after Ziebold left to open a new venue in downtown D.C. Rather than merely install a new chef, the hotel decided to close CityZen and allow the new chef to create a new restaurant.
Ziebold announced in December 2014 that his new restaurant, named Kinship, would open in September 2015. The 80-seat restaurant, located at 1015 7th Street NW in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood, Ziebold said the menu would be divided into four sections: "Ingredients" (seasonal dishes), "Craft" (dishes which required extreme skill or technique), "History" (classic dishes), and "Decadence" (treats and desserts). The menu will be à la carte.
A second restaurant, which Ziebold had not yet named, was intended to occupy the space below-ground beneath Kinship. Accessible via an elevator, the second dining establishment will include a small lounge with a fireplace and a 36-seat dining room (open only for dinner). Intended to be an extremely high-end luxury dining experience, the second restaurant will have a $150 tasting menu, table-side cooking, and "enhanced" coffee service.
Interior designer Darryl Carter will create both interiors.
- Best New Chefs, Food & Wine, 2005
- Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, James Beard Foundation, 2008
- Chef of the Year, Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, 2008
- "Eric Ziebold". StarChefs.com. October 2006. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Marcus, Miriam (March 14, 2007). "Tastemakers: Chefs". Forbes. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Havemann, Judith (June 8, 2005). "Maestro Wins Two Rammys". The Washington Post. p. F4.
- Farley, David (March 25, 2010). "Capital of Comfort Food". The New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- Sietsma, Tom (November 15, 2009). "A Ziebold Venture Heads South". The Washington Post. p. WMAG30.
- Sietsma, Tom (January 8, 2014). "Only Some of This Muze Is Inspiring". The Washington Post. p. E3.
- Cooper, Rebecca (October 17, 2014). "CityZen in the Mandarin Oriental to Close Dec. 6". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- Sietsma, Tom (December 10, 2014). "After CityZen, Eric Ziebold Will Open Two Dining Rooms Near Mount Vernon Square". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 10, 2014.