Patrick O’Connell, chef owner of the Inn at Little Washington, addresses his employees from a balcony on Tuesday after it was announced that the Inn had retained its coveted two Michelin stars. Later, O’Connell shares a celebratory laugh with Washington Mayor John Fox Sullivan, who stopped by to offer his congratulations.
The 2018 Michelin star rankings for Washington, D.C., were announced on Tuesday, with Patrick O’Connell’s Inn at Little Washington — the lone awardee outside the nation’s capital — retaining its coveted two stars, which were awarded for the first time last year.
“Big Washington is happy and Little Washington is jubilant,” O’Connell exclaimed from the Inn’s rear balcony above his prized kitchen, where in the courtyard below dozens of Inn staff gathered for glasses of celebratory champagne. O’Connell, who will continue his quest for an almost unheard of three Michelin stars, was flanked by several employees wearing the colorful dress of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, an apparent gesture to O’Connell being proclaimed “the pope of American cuisine.”
“And now we’re getting ready to celebrate our 40th anniversary in the upcoming year [and] these stars that we once again earned today are not only a tribute to your hard work, but a wonderful illustration of what a group of passionate people can do when they share a common goal,” said O’Connell. “So thank you all for this incredible job and let’s use this [honor] as rocket fuel, as we did last year, to push forward with a vengeance. Now, let there be champagne and dancing in the streets of Little Wash!”