Ashok Bajaj, founder, and CEO of award-winning Knightsbridge Restaurant Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Fusano as the executive chef of La Bise, the modern French restaurant which opened in mid-June 2021 in the former Oval Room location, at 800 Connecticut Avenue, NW, just steps from the White House. Martin Vahtra of Project Design Associates of New York is the designer of record who created the vibrant new interior to highlight memorable French cuisine, as it is plated and served from the open kitchen.
Michael Fusano hails from Southern California. He was raised by an Italian father and French-Canadian mother who both appreciated wholesome food. In this home environment, Fusano learned that food was an expression of life and love which should be respected and honored. Playing beneath the olive orchards of his grandfather’s farm, he learned firsthand about diligence and the dedication that it requires to grow quality produce; nothing can be taking for granted. Inevitably, this would lay the foundation for his culinary career.
Classically French trained at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Pasadena California in 2000, Fusano was tapped for his first opportunity as a cook, working for his early mentor Chef Robert Gadsby at Noe Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. For the next seven years, he worked through the ranks opening two more restaurants for Gadsby in Houston, Texas and Chicago, Illinois, before eventually landing in Washington, DC to work for Enzo Fargione as chef de cuisine at Elisir.
In 2015, he joined his more recent mentor Fabio Trabocchi at Casa Luca. Fusano went on to become the opening executive chef at Sfoglina in Washington in 2016, winning a Bib Gourmand from the esteemed Michelin guide. Then in 2019, he moved to Miami as a member of the opening team and the executive chef for Trabocchi’s new Fiola in Coral Gables, Florida. Fusano departed the Sunshine State during the pandemic in 2020 and spent the next six months working in Somalia, before returning to the national’s capital to join the Knightsbridge Group.