Vincent Badiee — the chef at this year’s Best Restaurant, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm — attributes his love of food to his grandmothers. He took time to tell us a bit about what makes his current stomping grounds stand out.
When you came to Patowmack Farm in 2021, what was your goal?
After the last few restaurants I’d been at, my goal is to win a Michelin star. We are hoping for a green star [a special designation for restaurants with sustainable practices]. We work with local, organic farmers and grow everything else ourselves. We’re shooting for the top for sure.
Tell me about Ology, the restaurant’s new Sunday supper option.
Ology is my chance to get back into R&D, get back into the rabbit hole, and look at history and revamp it in a modern way. It’s my playground. I just bought a popcorn machine for it. We did a meatloaf last night. I never thought I’d be serving meatloaf in a restaurant. I added some Persian spices, some sumac, onion, and garlic. It’s more of a combination of Italian and Iranian, and it worked out pretty well.
What’s the best restaurant in NoVA right now?
Patowmack Farm, because we have a team that wants to be here. I don’t think you can get the same experience anywhere else. Beverly [Morton Billand, Patowmack Farm owner and founder] likes to call it farm to table, but I … like to say field to fork.
What should people be aware of when dining out nowadays?
Be nice to the staff. Everybody is short-staffed. It’s finally hit us. You’ve got two people, including myself, cooking and one pastry chef in the back with me. It’s people who care, though, so it makes all the difference.
Is there any food you can’t stand?
I try everything at least twice. I’ve tried dim sum chicken feet twice, but never again.
What do you love to cook at home that you’d never serve at the restaurant?
At this restaurant, I would never serve the 10-cent ramen packets. I have other plans for that in the future.
Which current food trends do you love?
Sunflower seeds. I love the sunflower plant — seeds are the tip of the iceberg. There are all the other parts of the plant, too. They are so flavor-forward. It’s a very versatile plant that’s so easy to grow around here. It fosters our bee population. I’m hoping to have bees here, too.
Which food trends need to die?
That’s an easy one: zero-proof spirits. They are terrible. Try a switchel! Zero-proof spirits are the worst things I’ve ever tasted. On par with chicken feet.