The Watergate Hotel celebrates 50 years with five great chefs and one amazing meal

Watergate Hotel - Kingbird Restaurant
Lobster by Kingbird’s executive chef Michael Santoro will be one of five dishes served at The Watergate Hotel’s 50th anniversary celebration dinner on July 25. (Photo courtesy of The Watergate Hotel)

When legendary French chef Jean-Louis Palladin arrived at The Watergate Hotel in 1979 he was already the youngest chef ever to win two Michelin stars. During his nearly 20 year reign over the Watergate’s Jean-Louis Restaurant he continued his rise as a celebrated chef. In addition, he helped educate a generation of chefs who passed through his kitchen and those who studied his techniques.

In celebration of The Watergate Hotel’s 50th anniversary and to honor Palladin, a ticketed dinner is being held at the hotel’s new signature restaurant Kingbird on Thursday, July 25. The five-course dinner has been designed by a team of locally and nationally renowned chefs, including Michael Laiskonis (NYC), Paul Liebrandt (NYC), Brian McBride (Washington, D.C.) and Robert Wiedmaier (Washington, D.C.), and convened by Kingbird’s executive chef Michael Santoro.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate The Watergate’s 50th anniversary with a tribute dinner to the chef who put this hotel’s restaurant scene on the map — Jean-Louis Palladin,” said Santoro. “It is extremely humbling and exciting to carry on the culinary legacy of this property, today.”

Highlights of the five courses that include a curated wine pairing include:

·  Glidden Point Oyster, Avocado Mousse, Shassetra Caviar, Kalamansi Lime– Chef Brian McBride

· Mosaic of Madai, Smoked Peach, Coconut – Chef Paul Liebrandt

· Variations of the Maine Lobster, Tomato verrine, Charcoal grilled tail, Demitasse of claw with tandoori spices – Chef Michael Santoro

· Gateau of Foie Gras, California squab, Bordelaise sauce – Chef Robert Wiedmaier

· Vanilla Parfait, Raspberry Coulant, Pistachio Cake, Lime Cream – Chef Michael Laiskonis

Tickets to The Watergate Hotel 50th Anniversary Jean-Louis Tribute Dinner can be purchased for $250, with reservations beginning at 6:00pm, subject to availability.

50th Anniversary Package

In celebration of this anniversary, The Watergate Hotel blends a sophisticated past with an elegant future through an extravagant anniversary package, the commemorative dinner experience at Kingbird and themed spa treatments from Argentta Spa. The Watergate Hotel reopened in June 2016 with new vibrant spaces such as The Next Whisky Bar, Kingbird, Top of the Gate, and Argentta Spa. The hotel’s current design, following a $200 million-dollar renovation by its current owners, Euro Capital Properties, captures the essence of the property’s retro roots, paying homage to its past while simultaneously paving the way for a new chapter to be written.

The Watergate Hotel is located at 2650 Virginia Ave NW in Washington, D.C. For more information about the hotel, or to learn more about other experiences tied to the 50th anniversary, please visit

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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