2014 Washington, D.C. Area Rising Star Chef Kyle Bailey of The Arsenal at Bluejacket

2014 Washington, D.C. Area Rising Star Chef Kyle Bailey of The Arsenal at Bluejacket
December 2014

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Kyle Bailey started his career in the fine-dining world of luxury resorts in the Caribbean and Florida. He transitioned from that at New York’s Cru, where under the tutelage of StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Shea Gallante, Bailey sharpened his technique and learned the art of food and beverage pairings.
Making a move just slightly north, Bailey began cooking at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in 2007, manning the pantry, fish, and pasta stations. He also absorbed Dan Barber’s philosophy and gained experience with craft beer pairings. A year later, he was back cooking in Manhattan as executive chef of Allen & Delancey, with free creative range in the kitchen and a focus on food and cocktail pairings.

Relocating to Washington, D.C., Bailey led the kitchens at both beer-centric Birch & Barley and ChurchKey, with innovative, brew-forward menus. Food & Wine named Bailey “The People’s Best New Chef” and The Washington Post awarded him three stars. Now at The Arsenal at Bluejacket, having joined forces with D.C. beer guru and StarChefs.com Rising Star Cicerone Greg Engert, Bailey is giving capital city diners something few Americans have access to: high-end, farm-to-table, no-pretense food and craft microbrew parings. Out of the kitchen, Bailey is heavily involved with the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system in the Washington, D.C. area.



Interview with Washington, D.C. Area Rising Star Chef Kyle Bailey of The Arsenal at Bluejacket

Meha Desai: What’s your favorite tool?
Kyle Bailey:
An Ice tea spoon 

MD: And a tool you wish you had?
KB:
Searzall

MD: Do you have a favorite cookbook?
KB:
Heritage by Sean Brock

MD: And what about a favorite food resource?
KB:
PerfectLittleBites.com

MD: Who's your mentor? 
KB
: Dan Barber, Shea Gallante

MD: How are you involved in the local culinary community?
KB:
By supporting local farms.

MD: Your most important kitchen rule…
KB:
Cut the edges of labels nicely, because if you are focusing on that level of detail, you will carry that through everything else you do. Also, no whistling!

MD: Favorite dish you’ve ever made…
KB:
Ricotta cavatelli with confit chicken, crispy chicken skin, jarred summer tomato, and mozzarella 

MD: Where do you most want to go for culinary travel?
KB:
Montreal. The food scene is out of control there right now. I'm excited to go there. 

MD: What's your five-year plan?
KB
: I want to continue to challenge myself and learn everyday.

MD: What’s your philosophy on food? 
KB
: Eat fresh, eat local, make everything by hand, and extrapolate existing flavors

MD: How would you describe your cuisine in one sentence?
KB:
We’re a full-circle restaurant serving farm to table food with an emphasis on beer