A native of Southwest France, Sebastien Rondier is classically trained in French cuisine and has expanded his culinary talent over the last 14 years in America. After graduating from CFA Hotellerie DAX in France, Rondier held various kitchen roles in such acclaimed restaurants as Le Bristol by Michel Del Burgo, Michelin-starred Taillevent, and Michelin-starred Le Louis XV Restaurant by Alain Ducasse. Rondier continued to work closely with Alain Ducasse as executive sous chef at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in New York City, executive sous chef at Adour at St. Regis in New York City, executive chef at Benoit New York, chef de cuisine at miX On The Beach at W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, and executive chef at Adour at St. Regis in Washington, D.C.
Rondier also served as a task-force chef for Kauai Grill at St. Regis in Princeville, Hawaii. From 2015 to 2016, Rondier served as executive chef at After Peacock Room in D.C. and a private chef for Fertitta Enterprise in Las Vegas. During this time, Rondier also won the television competition on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” in the episode entitled “I Love It When You Call Me Big Papaya.”In February 2017, Rondier brought his global culinary talents to Brabo Brasserie in Old Town Alexandria. As executive chef, he leads the culinary team, offering sophisticated cuisine that is inspired by French techniques and flavors and made with the highest-quality ingredients. His seasonal menu is complemented by an extensive wine list and carefully crafted cocktails. Rondier continues the well-established tradition of Brabo Brasserie as an Old Town favorite known for its neighborly friendliness, superior service, and exceptional food.
What do you love most about Your City?
The European feel and the absence of high-rise buildings. I love being able to run around and visit the Old Town Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings. I also enjoy walking and biking by the water. The airport and Washington, D.C. are only 10 minutes away. Annapolis is just 45 minutes away, and if I want to go fishing in the Chesapeake, it’s a short one-hour drive.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I would describe my taste in breakfast as classic. A great steak & eggs dish with homemade potatoes, breakfast sausages, and hot sauce is my favorite. I finish it off with black coffee and a bloody Mary.
My favorite restaurants are Chef Gaston Acurio’s in Lima. I have tried three of his places and really love the flavor profile of Peruvian cuisine.
What are you doing at?
6:00 AM – I am in the kitchen opening and starting the day, which includes making all sauces, butchering, receiving deliveries, and making sure all is consistent and quality controlled. When I’m able to prep from 6 am to 12 pm, it gives me most of the day to focus on emails, events, banquets, clients, and more.
10:00 AM - I am already on my fourth cup of coffee, probably eating a scrambled egg and a couple of slices of bacon.
12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
Give me a big Panzanella salad topped with avocado and I am a happy camper.
7:00 PM – I am focused on dinner service.
11:00 PM – I could be eating a jam-filled madeleine or taking a shower. Before bed, I’m either reading books about surfcasting for striped bass on the East Coast or watching Netflix.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Coffee, coffee, and two glasses of milk before bed.
My day off? Coffee and depending on the weather and the mood, Ricard or wine to end the day.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account.
What should everyone try at least once?
Invite yourself to a private event. I promise no one will pay attention to you (hardly).
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
By the water. It could be the Cape Cod Canal or anywhere at the beach. Water brings me peace and a bit of nostalgia and mystery.