Ed Hardy, Executive Chef
Quench is delighted to announce that Chef Ed Hardy has joined the team as Executive Chef. Most recently the Executive Chef at McLean’s Bistro Vivant – which, under his direction, was named to Northern Virginia Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants – Chef Ed largely honed his skills in New York, where much of his career was spent working with (Top Chef Master) Marcus Samuelsson. With Chef Samuelsson, Chef Ed opened and helped lead the acclaimed restaurants The Red Rooster (NY Times Two-Star rated) and American Table (at Lincoln Center). Chef Ed began his stint with Chef Samuelsson at Aquavit (NY Times Three-Star rated), where he started on the line. He also spent time with the service-focused Union Square Hospitality Group, as Sous Chef at the Modern / MoMA Café and as a stagire at the legacy restaurant, Gramercy Tavern.
Following Chef Ed’s graduation from the University of Virginia (B.A., 2002), his love of cooking led him to cast aside his History degree and pursue a career in the kitchen. After stints at some of Charlottesville’s best restaurants, Chef Ed ventured to D.C., where he was Sous Chef for Legal Seafood. Ed then attended The French Culinary Institute, from which he graduated in 2005.
Despite his culinary experience, he is inexplicably tattoo-free and has just renewed his subscription to The Economist. Chef Ed lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and newborn son.
Matt Allred, Bar Manager
Quench Bar Manager Matt Allred might look like a mere lad; he still gets carded for R-rated movies, but he is quickly approaching 30. Some of the scotch he pours might be older than him, but he has been building bars (and the drinks that go with them) since he came here from his childhood home of Heidelberg Germany (a military brat) nearly 8 years ago.
Matt has learned about the art of the cocktail from some of the best in the business, and soon realized that he was born with unnatural drink-creation and spirit-knowledge skills – a true cocktail prodigy! Matt’s honed his craft in such notable venues as The Bombay Club, Brasserie Beck and Bourbon Steak, and from the microbrew craze to the resurgence of the craft cocktail, Matt has seen it all and been planning his whole adult life for this opportunity. Matt will be a smiling, friendly and damn talented presence behind the bar, and he’s ready to expose Rockville to amazing seasonal cocktails, classic drinks and a flavor explosion. You name it, Matt (and his team) can make it. Well.
Melissa Hersh, General Manager
Melissa has been working in restaurants for over 14 years. A MoCo local, she grew up in Damascus, MD, spent 8 years in N.C. for school and work, and then headed back up to the DC area. Luckily for us, Melissa had enough of generic corporate restaurants and wanted some more flavor and excitement, and decided to join the awesome Quench team. She is extremely passionate about providing really great service, and super-excited to do some cool promotions with the bar and marketing team.
In her free time, she loves heading to Sugarloaf Mountain with my golden/basset mix (seriously, she’s too cute!), is (slowly) picking up a running habit, and loves, loves, loves going to live music shows and music festivals. If the sun is shining, you’ll probably find me outside somewhere (unless I’m busy at Quench)! Says Melissa, “I completely and fully believe in this brand and the vision for the restaurant, so if any of you have any advice, suggestions, or concerns…please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can’t wait to meet all of our awesome guests! Drop in and say hi, call me at 301-424-8650 or email me at Melissa@quenchnation.com.
Michael Holstein, Owner
Michael Holstein, a Potomac native (Wootton High School), is an entertainment lawyer, who also works in the music and TV industries. He is currently too tired and not creative enough to write a coherent bio. In the meantime, here are some things he enjoys: the Miami Hurricanes, My Morning Jacket, poker, dogs, the New Orleans Saints, live music, Las Vegas and any tropical beach he can get to. When younger and more fit, he also enjoyed surfing and soccer. He continually aspires to sleep more, to eliminate Yelp from the world and to raise his Words With Friends game to Olympic levels. So far zero for three with these goals, he will nevertheless battle on, and for now coast on the thrill of helping make Quench the Best New Restaurant in Maryland (as named by the MD Restaurant Association) and the kind of place sorely needed in his hometown.