2023 Chefs

Washington, DC

John Critchley is the Executive Chef at BOURBON STEAK, Washington D.C., where he creates vibrant presentations spotlighting seasonal ingredients.

Growing up in Coastal Massachusetts, Critchley began as a dishwasher and prep cook at the Red Lion Inn in Cohasset when he was just 14 years old. In 1997, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and went to work as a sauté and grill chef at Ford’s Colony Dining Room in Williamsburg, Virginia before trying his hand at pastry at Trellis in the same town. Trading Williamsburg for Boston, Critchley spent several years working in some of the city’s top restaurants, including Clio Restaurant, Uni Sashimi Bar and Toro. Critchley left the helm at Toro to work as a harvester for Island Creek Oyster Co. in Duxbury, Mass., where he indulged his passion for sustainable seafood.

In 2008, Critchley joined Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants as the opening chef of Miami’s Area 31, honored by Esquire Magazine as one of the “Best New Restaurants” of 2009. In late 2010, he relocated to DC, assuming the Executive Chef position at Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar at the Hotel Palomar, where he cultivated a following for his handmade pasta dishes. Critchley’s commitment to local sourcing and sustainability helped earn Urbana the 2012 Mayor’s Award for Sustainability, while Critchley himself took home top honors at the DC leg of the American Lamb Jam tour the same year.