Chef Michael Harr brings a wealth of passion and experience to the restaurant operation. Chef Harr’s cuisine has become well regarded for bold & vibrant flavors and harmonious couplings of regional and international elements. Drawing upon his early experiences in European kitchens and a Maryland upbringing, Chef Harr has an unparalleled appreciation of simple yet balanced food. Harr utilizes his talent to express himself through classic and new age renditions using local flavors to craft truly unique offerings.
Chef Harr is passionate about the use of skillful butchery, local produce and seasonal cookery, and he brings these skills and more to the table with an approachable twist of comfort and simplicity.
Michael Harr offers diners an exciting balance of classic American comfort food and innovative fare with dishes such as Fried Potato Tots with gruyere and a spicy ketchup, pickled deviled eggs, chow chow and micro herb and a Pork Blade Steak Caramelized with black pepper & honey, finished with arugula, feta, heirloom beets, fried sweet potato.
“Simple food consists of great ingredients prepared in a method that allows their true flavors to shine. Presentation, ingredients and technique combine with an appreciation for the smallest of ingredients. This is the platform for my cooking,” says Chef Harr. “Having been raised in Maryland, with such proximity to local produce and farms, I learned early on that using quality local ingredients is the key to good food.”
The Maryland native began his career early on in Washington, DC, later as Sous Chef at Mark Miller’s Red Sage then made a major leap to Las Vegas and off to European kitchens, cooking in Geneva, Brussels, Tuscany and Cap d’Antibes, France where he served as personal chef to a French diplomat. There, cooking in some of the world’s most renowned kitchens, Chef Harr found his passion for fine food.
After his time abroad, Chef Harr came home to the area at Maestro Restaurant, in Virginia, a five diamond rated restaurant, where Chef Harr worked with acclaimed Chef Fabio Trabocchi. Shortly after his time at Maestro, he returned to downtown, Washington, DC to command the kitchen as Executive Chef at Butterfield 9, rated in the Top 100 Best Restaurants in the DC metro area. At Butterfield 9, Chef Harr’s talents and expertise embraced the restaurant’s philosophy and complemented its modern concept. His strong roots in classical French technique greatly enhanced his interpretation of the Modern American cuisine, as the traditions of Europe merge with his new world innovations.
Chef Harr then served as the Multi Outlet Executive Chef overseeing the specialty restaurants in the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. And before that, Chef Harr was the Executive Corporate Chef for Celebrity Cruises in Miami, Florida, gaining knowledge and experience in managing multiple ship venues and specialty outlets.
Chef Harr had then joined with Food, Wine & Co., bringing his classic French and traditional American influences into the a just opened Bethesda kitchen of what then became after four years a top Bethesda Restaurant and dining scene. Chef Harr strived to create a balance between a neighborhood bistro with a broad range of seasonal dishes that were approachable and priced reasonably.
During his tenure, Chef Harr created the concepts Fish Taco in Cabin John a Mexican influenced taqueria and City Burger a burger haven in Bethesda Maryland. Both concepts are highly praised and are recognized as top fast casual dining destinations. Fish Taco is now currently expanding and becoming a brand.
Currently Chef Harr is working with investors and local owners of established businesses that need to take their businesses to the next level with their ever-evolving operations as a lead partner and consultant.