Ris Lacoste is one of the most respected and dedicated chefs working in Washington, D.C. today, and has been a fixture on the culinary scene for over two decades.
Prior to opening RIS her restaurant in the District’s West End, Lacoste served as executive chef of Georgetown’s celebrated 1789 Restaurant. Her innovative regional American fare drew national attention and earned numerous awards, but Lacoste is well known for her commitment to community involvement as well. She was an active member of the National Board of Directors for the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF), and has served as Chairman of its National Capital Area Chapter. She also sits on the board of Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, of D.C. Central Kitchen and is a trustee of the Hospitality High School of Washington, D.C. Her professional affiliations and memberships include the Women’s Forum of Washington, D.C., Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, James Beard Foundation, and Les Dames d’Escoffier.
She dedicates much of her time to charitable organizations. A talented educator committed to young people, Lacoste is a mentor for the students of Hospitality High School of Washington, D.C., a public charter school that focuses on enhancing the educational employment opportunities in the hospitality industry. She volunteers as a judge and internship mentor with Careers Through Culinary Arts Programs and works closely with L’Academie de Cuisine, where she assists in the continuing culinary development of their students.
Beyond the kitchen, Lacoste’s favorite place to be is in the middle of a local farmers’ market, hunting down the freshest fruits and vegetables and chatting with purveyors about their just-picked produce. These markets, where she frequently presents chef demonstrations, are not only a source of inspiration for her cuisine, but a meeting point for food lovers to talk about the importance of investment in the local community and dedication to the ideals of organic and sustainable farming.
Her latest and most personal venture is the culmination of a delicious career. At RIS, Lacoste serves a seasonal American menu that ties together her acute sensibility and style for diners in the nation’s capital she has grown to admire. It embodies her passion for bold flavor, her commitment to excellence and her genuine dedication to giving back to those who have given her so much.