Chef David Deshaies, a 2023 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic, grew up working in his uncle’s restaurant in the Loire Valley of France. He worked in Michelin-starred restaurants across France and Spain before heading to the States in 2001 to join celebrated chef Michel Richard at his flagship Citronelle in Washington, DC, where he eventually rose to executive chef.
In 2017, he opened Unconventional Diner with restaurateur Eric Eden in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, earning a Bib Gourmand designation from the Michelin Guide the following year and several RAMMY awards since, including Deshaies being named Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) in 2020. In fall 2021, Deshaies and Eden opened glam Italian restaurant L’Ardente in downtown D.C. It was recognized by RAMW as a 2022 Best New Restaurant finalist, and in 2023, L’Ardente ranked No. 3 on Washingtonian’s well-respected list of the area’s 100 Very Best Restaurants and won a RAMMY award for Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year.
Then in May 2023, Deshaies opened Love, Makoto—an ambitious Japanese culinary collection with two full-service restaurants, a bar and a fast-casual spot—with partners Eden and Chef Makoto Okuwa. He is also the managing partner of Central Michel Richard, a French brasserie in Downtown DC.
ACCOLADES & PRESS
2024 – Maîtres Cuisiniers de France Member
2023 – James Beard Semi-Finalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic
2023 – All three restaurants Michelin Guide recognized, with a fifth Bib Gourmand awarded to Unconventional Diner
2023 – L’Ardente lands at #3 on Washingtonian’s list of 100 Very Best Restaurants
2023 – L’Ardente named Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year by Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington
2022 – L’Ardente named Restaurant of the Year by Eater DC
2020 – Named Chef of the Year by Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington