Executive Chef Joe Gurner’s talent and passion for food is demonstrated not just through years of designing and executing large high profile events, but also through his commitment to creating fresh and innovative dishes with seasonal ingredients wherever he has worked.
Joe began his culinary career after obtaining a degree in business administration and enrolling in the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. He completed an externship at the Marco Island, Florida Marriott Spa and Resort, where he then returned and served as a chef for the resort’s five restaurants.
A few years later, Joe moved to the West Coast to be catering chef for San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, preparing menus for events ranging from intimate weddings to corporate galas. When Joe decided to move back east, Restaurant Associates looked to Joe to oversee the kitchen of the National Museum of American History, and later serve as opening chef for renowned properties, including the National Museum of the American Indian, The Music Center at Strathmore, and the Museum of Science in Boston.
Joe first joined the Kennedy Center as its Catering Chef in 2007. Today, as Executive Chef, his mission is to focus on maintaining high-quality cuisine and showcasing fresh, simply prepared seasonal foods for all the Kennedy Center's dining destinations.
Nearly two decades ago, Chef Jeffrey Weiss embarked on a culinary career focusing on seasonal, sustainable, and simple recipes that stay true to their roots and, most importantly, taste fantastic.
His passion for celebrating the natural flavors of ingredients, and the global recipes that feature them, developed during his experiences cooking in the kitchens of James Beard award-winning chefs José Andrés and April Bloomfield, as well as Spanish-based chefs Adolfo Muñoz and Dani García. Weiss' distinguished international experience originated from his having been awarded the prestigious ICEX culinary scholarship in 2009—allowing him to live in Spain, learn the regional cuisines, and cook in the kitchens of top Spanish chefs. His James Beard and Gourmand World Cookbook Award nominated book, Charcutería: The Soul of Spain, chronicles his time working in Spain and learning the various charcuterie styles of the Iberian Peninsula.
Weiss is a graduate of the Mission College School of Hospitality Management and Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration.
Sebastian joins the Roof Terrace Restaurant as Food and Beverage Director.
Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sebastian began his career in the food and hospitality industry when he served as bartender in Brisbane, Australia. He first developed his management skills working as F & B Coordinator for the Sheraton Presidente Hotel in San Salvador, creating new menus and promotion items for restaurant outlets.
When he moved to Dallas, Texas a few years later, Sebastian joined the Four Seasons Resort and Club as a service bartender. There, he managed the wine and beverage inventory, simultaneously receiving training on Four Star Fine Dining restaurant service standards and completing the Introductory Sommelier Course of the Court of Master Sommeliers.
He spent two years as the Food and Beverage Supervisor at Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh before moving to Washington, D.C where his impressive knowledge of and interest in wine and spirits has helped to further develop the Roof Terrace Restaurant’s beverage selections.
Sebastian is a graduate of Les Roches School of Hospitality Management.