Meet Our 2018 Honorary Chef
Westfield, New Jersey native Michael Friedman's professional cooking career began as a prep cook with Mon Ami Gabi. Friedman spent three years with Rich Melman's Lettuce Entertain You group, rising to sous chef in just eight months before enrolling in the Culinary Institue of America, Hyde Park, New York.
After graduating top of his CIA class, Friedman began to work for Jose Andres at Zaytinya. After two years, he left his mentor to travel the world. Eating through Italy, Greece, Turkey and Northern Africa, Friedman picked up the interesting and exciting nuances of each country. Back in the US, Friedman spent time staging some infuential kitchens, including San Francisco's Incanto, Los Angeles' Lucques, Philadelphia's Vetri and New York's Scarpetta. Friedman returned to D.C. as Executive Sous Chef of Proof, and under the tutelage of Executive Chef Haidar Karoum, he learned to hone his craft and simplify his style to let seasonal ingredients chine.
Friedman opened up The Red Hen in 2014. His eclectic menu offers guests a focused selection of seasonal, Italian-influenced dishes interpreted with Mid-Atlantic ingredients. Red Hen continues to be a neighboorhood gem within Washington DC that excited diners with new dishes every season.
In 2016 he opened All- Purpose Pizzeria- serving antipasti, classic Italian American dishes and deck oven- fired pizzas in the heart of downtown D.C. As a New Jersey native, All Purpose became a love letter to Chef Friedman's youth. Shortly after its opening, All- Purpose was named D.C.'s top reataurant by the Washington Post. In 2017, Friedman was recognized as a James Beard Award Semifinalist. Michael Friedman holds a bachelor's degree in communications and a minor in American history from Boston University.