Award-winning restaurateur Ashok Bajaj is pleased announce the appointment of John Melfi as executive chef of his newly renovated power dining hot spot, The Oval Room. Melfi brings seventeen years of experience to his new position having worked at esteemed restaurants throughout Washington, DC and Charleston, South Carolina.
Prior to joining The Oval Room, Chef Melfi served for one year as the opening executive chef of Fiola Mare under James Beard award-winning chef and owner Fabio Trabocchi. During Melfi’s tenure in the kitchen, Fiola Mare received three stars from The Washington Post and from Washingtonian magazine. From June 2011 to December 2013, John Melfi served as chef de cuisine at the three-star rated, award-winning Blue Duck Tavern. During his two-year stint here, the restaurant captured the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s best “Fine Dining” award in June 2013, and Melfi was also nominated for “Rising Culinary Star.” Previously Melfi worked as executive sous chef at the award-winning Vidalia restaurant under acclaimed chef and owner Jeffrey Buben from April 2008 to May 2011.
Before moving to the nation’s capital, Chef Melfi resided in Charleston, South Carolina, where he served as sous chef of Slightly North of Broad, a low country bistro led by acclaimed chef Frank Lee. His culinary career also includes working as executive chef of Charleston’s Island House Restaurant. Melfi also spent time in Naples, Florida cooking at the Hideout Country Club, Audubon Country Club and Quail Creek Country Club. Chef Melfi graduated from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in February 2002, earning top honors as class salutatorian. He credits his early successes to the support of his wife, Laura and their young Arya. The Melfi family resides in Arlington, Virginia.