In the kitchen of Washington, D.C.’s The Red Hen, the most important thing is flavor. The ingredients Chef-Owner Mike Friedman uses are integral to achieving those delicious tastes and textures. Since those ingredients change throughout the year, every season brings a new menu experience for diners.

Everything has to be delicious. It has to be.

According to Chef Mike, “Seasonal ingredients are what make The Red Hen so special. We work around the seasons, so our menu changes when the farmers bring me new product. This means we get really excited for favas, peas, and asparagus in spring. Summer brings amazing tomatoes and corn, and we can’t wait for winter squash and warm braises in autumn.”

Freshness equals flavor; that’s why Friedman utilizes local sourcing for almost all of the ingredients that end up on your plate at the restaurant. “We cook simple food at The Red Hen, which means that quality is the most important thing we focus on.” Friedman credits the great relationships he has with his purveyors for the exceptional quality of food they offer. “They care about the product they are bringing to our door.”

Because of his commitment to using only the finest local ingredients, Chef Friedman also has to address rising food costs. Unwilling to compromise on quality, he gives this advice “You’ve got to be a smarter cook. Save everything. Use everything.”

Winning the “Best Restaurant” award in Washington City Paper’s 2015 “Best of D.C.” poll proves that using seasonal local ingredients is the key to success for Chef Mike Friedman’s fresh take on cuisine.

Connect with the Chef

Mike Friedman is the chef at The Red Hen in Washington, D.C., and was named a 2014 Washington, D.C. Area Rising Star Chef. Connect with Chef Mike on Twitter.