• Som Ngamsanith
    Roof Terrace Restaurant Director
  • Ben Willis-Becker
    Executive Chef
  • Francisco Bertran
    Restaurant Sous Chef
  • Sally Silverman
    Chef De Cuisine
  • Chef Marguerite Bottorff
    Senior Sous Chef
Som Ngamsanith
Roof Terrace Restaurant Director

Som Ngamsanith joined Roof Terrace Restaurant at The Kennedy Center in 2017 after more than two decades working with Compass Group USA, the nation’s largest family of foodservice and facilities services companies. From catering manager at Freddie Mac to general manager at Northrop Grumman, Ngamsanith has worked behind the scenes in dining rooms and cafeterias in the DC region for some of the most influential Fortune 500 companies around the globe. Prior to his time at Compass, he started his career at Marriott Corporate Food Service, where he worked his way up from line cook to first cook to banquet chef. 

During a stint at Sodexo, Ngamsanith was the lead catering manager for a movie premiere (“In the Company of Spies”) at the Central Intelligence Agency, the first time in the agency’s history it hosted such an event. 

Ngamsanith joined Restaurant Associates at Roof Terrace Restaurant at The Kennedy Center as a restaurant manager, bringing his culinary expertise and strong management skills to the iconic venue, and was recently promoted to restaurant director. 

Ngamsanith immigrated to Northern Virginia as a young boy from Laos in 1980 and has spent his entire career in the region. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and dog. 


Ben Willis-Becker
Executive Chef

Chef Ben Willis-Becker comes to the Kennedy Center as the new Executive Chef, bringing

decades of experience in kitchens across the country. Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee,

Ben grew up in a Jewish family, where his first memory in the kitchen was baking challah

alongside his mother and sisters. Throughout his teenage years, Ben worked in kitchens as a

dishwasher, where he developed his sense of purpose and fell in love with the camaraderie of a

kitchen environment. Ben later went on to study at the New England Culinary Institute, where he

earned his Associates Degree and Bachelor's Degree in business and restaurant management ,

and would later return as an instructor.

Ben’s experience at restaurants around the country included a period in Portland, Oregon under

James Beard winner Chef Greg Higgins, where he was further exposed to the concept of

farm-to-table dining. He later returned to the east coast where he worked at multiple restaurants

as sous-chef and pastry chef, and grew into the executive chef position.

Later, Ben returned to Knoxville with his wife to open their own delicatessen, Harry’s, which

specialized in fermentation and pickling. Here he developed strong relationships with local

farmers and purveyors, that he still holds dear to this day. He then moved on to his next venture

at Restaurant Associates, working at Scripps Networks in Knoxville and the Georgia Aquarium,

before moving to Washington, D.C.

Now at the Kennedy Center, Ben brings with him his wealth of knowledge, as he hopes to focus

on the seasonality of ingredients with an ever evolving menu.

In his free time, Ben enjoys spending time with his wife, two sons, two dogs, and cat. He’s also

an avid yoga practitioner and instructor, as well as a lover of the outdoors and hiking.

Francisco Bertran
Restaurant Sous Chef

Juan Francisco Bertran Sotomayor, a passionate Peruvian chef, graduated from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Peru. With over 16 years of culinary experience, he is dedicated to respecting and enhancing the flavors of ingredients, incorporating Peruvian cuisine and utilizing techniques acquired throughout his career. His commitment to cooking reflects his profound love for gastronomy and family.

Sally Silverman
Chef De Cuisine

Silverman earned her associate’s degree in culinary arts and bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from State University of New York at Delhi before working in the kitchens of private country clubs and resorts around the country, including Bald Peak Country Club in New Hampshire and Jupiter Island Club in Florida. She made the move to Washington, D.C. in 2016 to take on the role of Tournant at the Cosmos Club, one of Washington’s, D.C.’s most prestigious private clubs that counts past presidents and Nobel Laureates among its members.

Chef Marguerite Bottorff
Senior Sous Chef

Chef Marguerite Bottorff is one of Roof Terrace Restaurant at The Kennedy Center’s newest additions to the team, bringing a wealth of experience and a deep rooted love for Washington, D.C. As a fourth generation native Washingtonian, Chef Marguerite has enjoyed many Kennedy Center shows and programs since early childhood, making her new culinary role feel like a full circle moment. Chef Marguerite brings over fifteen years of experience in kitchens in D.C., having worked as a private chef and caterer for dignitaries and ambassadors, local and national TV personalities and politicians. Her impressive culinary career began while working on famed Chef Bobby Flay’s production team, where she quickly learned her way around a professional kitchen and became inspired to pursue cooking as her career. She soon realized working in kitchens is what she was meant to, and has since dedicated her life to all things food. Since 2018, Chef Marguerite has been featured on Good Morning Washington as a regular on a segment notably called, “Cooking with The Five Foot Chef”, which primarily focused on the joys and ease of entertaining with allergies. In her free time, Marguerite is an avid painter, devoted aunt, and cat mom to Beans, Peanut Butter, and Jelly.

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