The Elephant in Mount Vernon brought on a new executive chef just after entering its second year in business.
Orlando Amaro stepped into the top spot in the kitchen Oct. 31. He replaced Andy Thomas, who left the restaurant in mid-September to tend to family matters, according to the owners.
The Elephant, which opened in July 2016, will release a new menu Wednesday under Amaro’s guidance. The restaurant will begin offering a tasting menu of five courses, in addition to its a la carte options*, co-owner Mallory Staley said.
“We’re going to focus on a smaller number of dishes,” she said.
The menu will change at least once a month, and likely once a week in the spring and summer. Menu pricing had not been set as of Monday afternoon.
Staley, along with Elephant co-owners Linda Brown Rivelis and Steven Rivelis,spent several weeks searching for a new executive chef. They considered chefs across the country — from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Boston to Washington, where they found Amaro.
Amaro stood out among applicants for the global cuisine he offered, Staley said.
“When chef plated his food, all of us were just in tears because of how amazing his food was,” Staley said. “The things that he did touched into so much of the global piece that we’re going for.”
Amaro most recently served as executive chef of the D.C. restaurant Station 4, where he worked since 2011. He previously served as executive chef at restaurants and resorts including the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami, Blue Moon in Miami and Pamplona Tapas Bar in Lafayette, La.
A native of Venezuela, Amaro graduated from the Culinary Institute of Mexico. He has also worked in restaurants in Venezuela and Spain.