Robert Rubba

His first job was in the pastry department at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun casino, under the watchful eye of his uncle who was executive chef. There, Rubba's claim to fame was making Dan Ackroyd's 50th birthday cake, complete with a white chocolate cone head. Soon after, he switched to savory, dropped out of art school, enrolled in culinary school, and launched his whirlwind, Michelin star-studded career.

He first worked at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in the London Hotel in NYC, which was awarded two Michelin stars almost immediately. He proceeded to work his way up in some of the best kitchens around the country, including Charlie Trotter, Guy Savoy in Las Vegas, L20 in Chicago and George Perrier's Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia.

At Hazel, his 38-seat dining room that serves as an ode to his experimentation with international cuisines. Since its opening, Hazel has received 2 1/2 star reviews from both The Washington Post and Washingtonian, a Michelin Bib Gourmand, and has received accolades from Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Zagat, Washington City Paper and Eater. Hazel also received a RAMMY award for “Best New Restaurant” from the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.