Rising Star Chef Tony Chittum of Dish - Biography
Washington , DC
Born on Kent Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Tony Chittum spent his youth fishing on the Chesapeake Bay where he learned from local fishermen how to prepare the native crab and rockfish. As a teenager, he worked in neighborhood eateries washing dishes and earning his allowance. When Chittum met Peter McDonaugh at a local restaurant, he realized that cooking could be a career and enrolled in a few culinary classes at Anne Arundel Community College.
At 21 Chittum relocated to San Francisco where he studied under Donald Link at the Elite Café. Link exposed Chittum to the nuances of fine dining through classic French technique as well as Cajun and Creole style cooking. In 1999, Chittum returned to the Washington, DC to work at newly opened Equinox restaurant under the tutelage of Todd Gray. Gray’s focus on seasonality and proper technique made an impression on Chittum, who quickly climbed the ranks from garde manger to sous chef and finally chef de cuisine in 2002. He left Equinox with a strong working knowledge of the business side of cooking and a newfound appreciation for local, seasonal produce. Two years later Chittum married Heather Ackerman, Pastry Chef at DC’s Dish. The two honeymooned in Italy where they soaked up local culinary traditions and flavors. When they returned to DC Chittum accepted an offer to join the opening team at Aria Trattoria, creating a menu that mirrored his gastronomic adventures through the Italian landscape with homemade pastas and seafood dishes.
Chittum learned of the opportunity to head the kitchens of both Dish and Notti Bianche, he could not pass up the offer and opportunity to work closer to his wife. Chittum joined in 2005, bringing innovative twists to seasonal Modern American cuisine. His dishes bring a sense of comfort and ease to fine dining while maintaining elegance.