Chef Five Bites: Daniel Bortnick

Daniel Bortnick, executive chef at the cozy Firefly in the Hotel Madera, has DC food roots that run deep. Get this: his grandparents owned a neighborhood grocery on the same block where Firefly sits today. His great uncle was also a DC restaurateur, known as "the Watermelon King" for handing out melon to local kids. Bortnick attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, before cooking in kitchens that included Mendocino Grille and Poste.

1. Menzaleh (baked layers of eggplant, ground beef, pine nuts and tomato) at Mama Ayesha’s

2. Pappardelle Aromatiche (housemade pappardelle with mushrooms and truffle oil) at Sorriso

3. Beef tartare at Poste

4. Rotisserie chicken and yucca fries at El Pollo Rico

5. Kaddo Barawni (roasted pumpkin with garlic yogurt) at The Helmand in Baltimore

Previous Chef Five Bites: Cathal Armstrong, Dani Arana, David Guas, Josh Short, Michel Richard, Haidar Karoum, Ryan Morgan, Shannon Overmiller, Anthony Chittum, Jonathan Krinn & Jon Mathieson, Victor Albisu, Vatche Benguian, John Snedden, Nicholas Stefanelli, Travis Olson, Brian Robinson, Cliff Wharton, Alex Bollinger, Massimo Fabbri