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In The Kitchen with Bret Thorn

Bin Lu experiments with new ways to bring out flavor at The Restaurant at Blue Rock

The former executive chef of Pineapple and Pearls in D.C. offers an evolving array of menu items at his countryside restaurant


Bin Lu has been the executive chef of The Restaurant at Blue Rock in Washington, Va., about a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C., in the bucolic Virginia countryside, since it opened in October of 2021. A year-and-a-half in he continues to delight guests with a constantly evolving prix-fixe menu.

Lu was born in Shanghai, China, but immigrated to the United States when he was 2 or 3 years old. He was drawn to cooking in college, where he didn’t particularly care for the food that was available on campus and figured he could do better on his own. However, he didn’t know anything about cooking, and this was long before any recipe or technique could be looked up online. But he did research and got the hang of it and realized that he was spending a lot more time learning to cook than paying attention to school. So upon graduation he started working at restaurants, including CityZen in D.C., under executive chef Eric Ziebold, and at Pineapple and Pearls, also in D.C., where he worked his way up the ranks and ended up as executive chef.

He recently shared his approach to cooking and his experimentation in bringing out different flavors in his dishes.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

TAGS: Food & Drink
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