By Stefanie Gans
Before December, Bertrand Chemel never made pizza.
The French chef who quit school at 16 to cook for a living has made terrines, sausages, pasta, and even worked under Daniel Boulud, but the 39-year-old chef of 2941—and now the corporate chef of Pizzeria Orso—never attempted the Italian classic.
After Orso’s most recent chef, Will Artley, left the Falls Church restaurant in October (he’s now cooking at D.C.’s BLT Steak), Chemel stepped in as 2941 and Orso share ownership. Chemel was supposed to be a placeholder until Orso found a new face, but Chemel wanted the challenge of developing the menu and learning how to toss dough; he will fly to California in March to train for his VPN certification.
The basis of the menu will not stray from Artley’s touches, making the family-friendly Orso much more than a pizza place with plenty of interesting small plates and entrees. Chemel’s Orso menu debuted yesterday. / Pizzeria Orso, 400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church