Todd Gray
Executive Chef & Owner/Equinox & Watershed

Already a star chef when he opened Equinox, Todd Gray is a top culinary talent in the nation’s capital and an avid promoter of local, seasonal mid-Atlantic foods. Known for breathing new life into historical recipes, Gray developed Equinox’s distinct cuisine, enhancing Virginia-Piedmont ingredients and recipes with his classical training. His refined taste, stellar reputation and high standards landed him the culinary director position with BET co-founder Shelia Johnson’s Salamander Hospitality. There he is overseeing development and implementation of an elegant menu of regional Virginia specialty dishes for the 340-acre Salamander Resort & Spa, slated to open in Middleburg, Virginia in 2011.

Gray has earned many awards for his artistry and inspired menu combinations, including the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s (RAMW) 2008 award for Best Fine Dining; five nominations for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic award and eight nominations for RAMW’s Chef of the Year. Other honors include top ratings in the ZAGAT Guide Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence ten years in a row and numerous Awards of Excellence from the Distinguished Restaurants of North America.

Gray’s strong background in classical French and Italian techniques and proclivity for invention have also made him a popular teacher. Over the years, he has conducted cooking classes for youngsters and their families, including his recent initiative with the Murch school, as a early leading advocate of Michelle Obama’s ‘Chefs Move to Schools’ program. In 2010 Gray was hand-selected by The First Lady, Michelle Obama and White House Policy Advisory Chef Sam Kass to address a meeting of chefs with the First Lady from across the nation at The White House regarding his success with this program and the future of our children’s diet through education about food, health and nutrition. Gray has become a magnet and mentor to apprentices climbing the culinary ladder as well; in 2010 he was named Mentor of the Year by Star Chefs.Today, some of his former students are among top area chefs. Gray is also a leader and champion in support of humanely raised and slaughtered animals and works with local farmers to develop food of all varieties from custom-grown beef to fresh, organic produce.

Raised in Virginia, Gray studied at the University of Richmond, and graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation, he worked in and staged with a number of fine dining restaurants including Galileo with Roberto Donna, Jean Louis at the Watergate and at Daniel with Chef Baloud where he honed his craft, philosophy and technique as one of the nation’s top chefs. Chef Gray has appeared on numerous television shows including a guest judge on Top Chef and Tyler Florence’s Food Network show, Tyler’s Ultimate.

The Gray’s will open their second location, Todd Gray’s Watershed, in DC in April 2011.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Comment

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply