Chef Robert Wiedmaier
Leading the culinary efforts at BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier, chef and proprietor Robert Wiedmaier developed a strong passion for the culinary arts at a young age while growing up in Germany. A family subscription to the French newspaper, Le Monde, provided him with key insights into the lives of famed chefs. And born to a father who is 100% Belgian and a mother who is Californian, Wiedmaier was given a chance to see and experience ingredient-based cuisine with the freshest produce, meat and dairy.
Wiedmaier attended the Culinary School of Horca in the Netherlands. His apprenticeship at the Thermidor Restaurant, a Michelin two-star establishment in Hulst, Holland, brought him to Brussels to work with famed Chef Eddie Van Maele. Then in 1986, he took the position of Saucier at Le Chardon D'Or in the Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, bringing him to the United States for the first time in his culinary career.
In 1988, Wiedmaier joined the team at the renowned Le Pavillion as Chef Poissonnier. A year later, he moved to the Four Seasons Hotel, the most prominent hotel in Washington DC, having been offered the Sous Chef position for their Aux Beaux Champs restaurant under the tutorial direction of Chef Douglass McNeill. For over seven years, Wiedmaier's European experience contributed to the upscale French cuisine of this prestigious restaurant.
Chef Wiedmaier then opened Café on M at The Grand Hotel in 1994, giving him a personal venue to use his culinary roots and where he established his critically acclaimed French Cuisine Flavored with a Flemish Flair.
In June of 1996, The Watergate Hotel asked Wiedmaier to oversee and manage the culinary operations for the hotel. He also undertook the re-design of the kitchen and opened their then-new restaurant, Aquarelle. Wiedmaier replaced Executive Chef Jean-Louis Palladin, his strategic mentor whose tenure at the hotel had been immensely successful.
In March 1999, Robert Wiedmaier opened Marcel's restaurant, named after his first-born son and just four months after Marcel's birth. Wiedmaier's fine dining establishment continually receives significant acclaim for his cuisine, including the Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year award by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington 2004, top ratings annually from Washingtonian magazine and The Washington Post dining guides and is rated in the Top Five Food category by Zagat.
In April 2007, Wiedmaier opened his second restaurant, the instantly successful Brasserie Beck, named after his younger son and located just a mile away from Marcel's. Brassierie Beck boasts the region's most comprehensive Belgian beer list that complements his classical yet casual Belgian fare of Mussels and Frites, Carbonnade and Waterzooie in a contemporary atmosphere. Esquire magazine named Beck's as one of the Best New Restaurants in America, 2007. And Wiedmaier, along with his two sons, appeared in his own segment, "Rockfish Round-Up in the Chesapeake Bay" on PBS' award-winning series, "Chefs a Field, Kids on the Farm, Season Three."
Wiedmaier has forged a partnership in with San Francisco's Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to open three distinctive and innovative food and wine experiences in 2009 in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Designed by acclaimed Vicente Wolf, BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier features a 105-seat dining room, BRABO Tasting Room, with its wood-burning oven, and Alexandria's first gourmet retail shop, The Butcher Block, a Market by RW. Wiedmaier oversees the dining venues as well as the hotel's entire food and beverage operations for meetings and events at the Lorien Hotel & Spa, a Kimpton Hotel.
When he's not cooking or tasting, Wiedmaier enjoys fishing and hunting with his sons as well as riding his Harley-Davidson. He and his wife, Polly, and their boys, live in Kensington, Maryland.