- Jaime Montes de Oca Jr.Executive Chef
- Som NgamsanithRoof Terrace Restaurant Manager
- William AlmyCatering Chef
- Kendra StephensPastry Chef
A native of New York, this 20-year old culinary veteran boasts an impressive and all-encompassing resume that could only be achieved by hard work, determination and an innate ability to continuously innovate.
Upon graduating from New York’s Art Institute, Montes de Oca joined the culinary team at the five-star Waldorf-Astoria, where he was exposed to the fast-paced world of banquet-style catering and the precise culinary
dance of the fine dining experience. For the next decade, Montes de Oca showcased his sophisticated flair at a number of New York’s finest hotels and restaurants, such as the four-star Plaza Hotel, acclaimed restaurateur
Jean-George Vongerichten’s threestar Vong, and Gertude’s a l o n g s i d e C h e f L a u r e n t Manrique, before landing at the iconic Russian Tea Room as executive sous chef. In 2001, Montes de Oca became the chef of
the 40-seat classical French Provencal restaurant, Bandol Bistro, in New York, where he assisted with menu development and execution. The years that followed proved to be immensely valuable and fruitful. Executive
sous chef roles at New York’s two-star Tocqueville, four-star Gramercy Park Hotel, and the Thompson Hotel’s Shang shed light on what it takes to successfully run a restaurant, while also allowing Montes de Oca the
freedom to further hone his culinary skills. In 2009, Montes de Oca relocated to Washington, D.C. to join the opening team for acclaimed Chef Susur Lee’s new project, Zentan, at The Donovan House. Here, he was
responsible for all aspects of development for the global Asian restaurant, including the creation of new dishes, hiring, and catering operations. After three years, Montes de Oca bid goodbye to Zentan and set his eyes on
a senior executive sous chef role at the luxurious Hay-Adams. The now seasoned chef was responsible for all culinary planning and execution for the hotel’s signature fine dining restaurant, The Lafayette, serving upscale
New American fare; as well as the hotel lounge, Off the Record, and in-room dining. With a hands-on leadership approach and unmistakable attention to detail, Montes de Oca and his team increased revenues by 10%.
A few years later, Montes de Oca was chosen as chef de cuisine at the prestigious Cosmos Club, a private social club for men and women distinguished in science, literature and the arts. Its members include three
Presidents, two Vice Presidents, a dozen Supreme Court justices, and countless Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners. At The Cosmos Club, he delivered market-driven, seasonallychanging New American style menus with
French influences to the property’s three restaurants.
Som has been with Compass Group USA (parent company of RA) for more than 15 years. He just recently joined Restaurant Associates in October 2018 as our new restaurant manager. He has held many positions in the past from Catering Manager to Food Service Director. Som started his career with Marriott working in the back of the house and worked his way up to Catering Chef. In 2001 he joined Flik Hospitality (part of Compass Group USA) as Catering Manager at Freddie Mac for 3 years then decided to open his own restaurant. After he sold his restaurant he came back and worked for Flik Hospitality at SAIC, Cleary Gottlieb Steen Hamilton LLP, Notherop Grumman, Skadden Arps and DLA Piper LLP. When he's not working he enjoys the outdoors; fishing, camping, hiking and playing with his dog. He also enjoys cooking and entertaining family and friends.
William Almy is a native of Garrett Park, Maryland who attended Salisbury University, where he received a major in History and a minor in Communications. In addition William has had a passion for cooking since he was young, and a food career dating back to 1994, when he began working as a short order cook. While attending Salisbury University Williams food career really became clear when in order to pay his bills he began working as a line cook at Vinny’s La Roma under Chef Vincent Bellia of Palermo Sicily. For the next seven year he learned the techniques and different foods involved in classic Italian cuisine. Upon returning to DC in 2009 Williams love for food and history combined and landed him a job at the Mitsitam Café in the National Museum of the American Indian under then Executive Chef Richard Hetzler. William worked under Hetzler and used his historical background in Native History as well as his acquired cooking skills to advance his career at Mitsitam over the next 3 years. In 2012 William took a job as Executive Chef of The Wild Tomato in Cabin John where he worked for owner Damian Salvatore, of Persimmon Restaurant in Bethesda Maryland for the next 3 years. In 2015 Williams’s interest in Native History and previous work at the Mitsitam Cafe linked him back with new Executive Chef Jerome Grant. He worked with Jerome Grant running the Mitsitam Café, competing in DC food competitions, and helping contribute to local charity events for 2 years before welcoming new Native Chef Freddy Bitsoie. William has continued to use his background in Native History and many years of food experience to push the ideas of native cuisine and traditional food customs throughout the restaurants he has worked over his career.
Kendra Stephens is Executive Pastry Chef for Restaurant Associates at The John Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Kendra was born in Cleveland Ohio, but grew up in Washington, DC. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Howard University, she realized her interest in food extended far beyond her home kitchen. So she opened Claudette’s Cookies and Pastry, a boutique artisanal catering company specializing in French pastry and confections.
In 2004 Kendra traveled throughout France to broaden her culinary vocabulary while attending the internationally acclaimed culinary school, l’Ecole Ritz Escoffier in Paris. Returning to Washington with new skills, Kendra participated in the collaboration of a new joint venture between Jose Andres and Ridgewells catering. Kendra developed and implemented innovative menus for Wolfgang Puck Catering, CxRA, and Restaurant Associates at the Kennedy Center, where she continues to push the boundaries of the sweet course by combining sweet and savory.
As pastry chef at the Kennedy Center Kendra recognized for her comprehensive knowledge of pastry design and her innovative approach to a customized dining experience. A talented chef, that infuses high quality, fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients with a commitment to a memorable experience for every guest.