Seasoned Chefs Take Helm At Roof Terrace Restaurant At The Kennedy Center

The Roof Terrace Restaurant at The Kennedy Center is proud to announce the hiring of Chef de Cuisine Karen Hayes and Pastry Chef Bruce Connell. Hayes boasts an impressive resume, having worked at some of the Washington area's top restaurants including 1789, Marcel's and Melrose. Connell, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, has studied under Master Pastry Chef and Baker Gunther Heiland and Michelin-starred Chef Antoine Westermann. For their first collaboration, they have created a new spring/summer menu that showcases lighter dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients from the region that are simply prepared.

Hayes has created a new dinner menu featuring light, summertime dishes like her playful take on "peas and carrots" --English Pea Dumplings with a carrot reduction, pea coulis, and toasted almonds, or her delicate and flavorful Asian Pesto Alaskan Halibut served with kaffir ginger broth, French breakfast radishes and pea shoots. "I love to combine unusual flavors and to make tastes exciting and fun," says Hayes. "I want my guest to get the same enjoyment out of eating the food as I have in preparing it."

Connell is inspired by his classical European training and likes to create desserts with balanced flavors and different texture sensations. His new dessert menu offers a Summertime Sampler Plate, featuring a mini-peach and rhubarb cobbler, vanilla bean panna cotta with a roasted pineapple carpaccio and a house made cantaloupe sorbet. For the chocolate lovers, Connell has created a Chocolate Obsession, mini-portions of a rich milk chocolate and peanut butter tart, a smooth chocolate cognac lollypop, and bitter-sweet chocolate sorbet. All the desserts are made in-house and completely from scratch. Bruce is also excited for the opportunity to create unique desserts and pastries that tie-in with the shows at the Kennedy Center. "I'm excited to introduce my first special theme dessert when The Phantom of the Opera is running in the Opera House in June," Bruce said.

For a full dinner menu, please visit

The Roof Terrace Restaurant offers modern adaptations of classic cuisine served in a dramatic Deco-inspired dining room, complete with soaring ceilings and alabaster columns of light. Offering a complete fine dining experience, Chef Karen Hayes focuses on light and seasonal foods, using a variety of exotic spices and fresh vegetables to accent her appetizers and entrees.

Depending on the performance schedule, the restaurant is open Sunday through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Following evening performances in the Concert Hall and Opera House on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Roof Terrace Restaurant offers entrees, small plates, cocktails, coffee and dessert by classically-trained Pastry Chef Bruce Connell, an excellent diversion for post-performance traffic exodus. The restaurant also hosts its critically acclaimed Sunday Kitchen Buffet Brunch every weekend from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Roof Terrace Restaurant is located on the roof of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20566. Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner and brunch. For more information visit or call 202-416-8555.


Brie McMahon