Barrel and Crow Names John Wood as New Chef

Previous chef left Bethesda restaurant last month


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John Wood in Barrel and Crow

Joe Zimmermann

Barrel and Crow in Bethesda has a new head chef after the sudden departure of the last cook to hold the post.

John Wood left his position as the chef de cuisine at Bethesda’s TapaBar to take the helm at Barrel and Crow starting today, Laura Houlihan, the owner of the Woodmont Triangle restaurant, said. He will be the restaurant’s third head chef in three years.

Former head chef Pedro Matamoros left the restaurant Aug. 7 to take a job at Bluebird Cocktail Room in Baltimore. He had taken over in April 2016 after Nick Palermo, who had been the chef since the restaurant opened at 4867 Cordell Ave. in May 2015, stepped down.

When Houlihan was looking to replace Matamoros, she said she quickly thought of Wood because of his charcuterie skills. She said he would be able to maintain the restaurant’s same style of locally sourced meals while adding his own menu items.

“He’s got an amazing background in charcuterie, and he knows a lot of local farmers,” she said. “We’re really excited.”

Wood said Tuesday he was looking forward to the freedom he expected to have in the kitchen. He said he hopes to make more food in-house and test new dishes.

“I’d like to do pastas. I’d like to eventually do more vegetable dishes, but I don’t want to go in and change everything right away,” he said. “It will differ a little bit … but I just want to kind of constantly refine what’s being done.”

Wood formerly worked at several Washington, D.C., restaurants—701 Restaurant, the Grill Room with Frank Ruta and Campono and Ancora with Bob Kinkead. He then worked at TapaBar, also in Woodmont Triangle, since it opened in 2016.

Alonso Roche, co-owner of TapaBar, said his restaurant is interviewing for a new chef. He said he wished Wood good luck, but did not want to provide further comment.

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