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RIA MONTES Chef de Cuisine 1.jpg
The new menu is being directed by Chef de Cuisine Ria Montes.

Estuary in D.C. gets new culinary staff after Voltaggio brothers exit

Located at the Conrad hotel, this Chesapeake Bay inspired restaurant is reclaiming the sea with its new staff

After the departure of founding culinary partners Michael and Bryan Voltaggio, Estuary at the Conrad hotel in Washington D.C. has landed a new culinary team, the hotel announced on Tuesday.

The restaurant, whose menu was created by Chesapeake Bay natives the Voltaggio brothers to celebrate the region, will continue to extol the virtues of the local cuisine and seafood even without the brothers on staff.

At the helm of the hotel’s food and beverage operations is director of food and beverage Josh Murray, formerly the hotel’s executive chef.

“Our goal is to create an opportunity for guests to effortlessly break bread with one another and with the community that creates the rich and diverse culture of the region,” said Josh Murray, director of food and beverage, Conrad Washington, D.C., in a statement. “We invite our guests to join us in celebrating the bounty of the bay and its surrounding watershed.” 

The new menu is being directed by Chef de Cuisine Ria Montes, who is also a local. Montes was formerly on staff at D.C.’s Michelin-award winning Blue Duck Tavern and most recently at No Goodbyes. Her style of cooking is more eclectic than the brothers however, bringing together more international flavors while keeping it hyper-local with ingredients.

“When I think about a dish, I think flavors. There are no barriers around what you can create and working with exceptional ingredients allows you to showcase the melting pot of cultures that is the American palate in a way that elevates the actual ingredient to showcase its beauty,” she said in a release. “Estuary is the perfect space to highlight the best of our regional cuisine to international travelers and offer an exciting addition to the D.C. food scene. I’m very excited to be part of the new chapter for the restaurant.” 

That new chapter also includes executive chef James Kerwin, senior sous chef Sean Tew, general manager Domingo Lamrissi Garcia, and beverage director Nial Harris-Garcia.

Kerwin comes from Michelin-starred Bonsoiree in Chicago and will oversee all culinary operations for the hotel. Harris-Garcia joins the restaurant from Blue Duck Tavern and was responsible for the re-launch of The Watergate Hotel where his wine program received the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. 

“Estuary brings the flavors of our region together with the dynamic energy of D.C. creating a blend that entices the palate and touches the senses,” said Laura Schofield, general manager, Conrad Washington, D.C. “We look forward to offering both our hotel guests and local community, an exciting and memorable D.C. dining experience.” 

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