Washington D.C. is in the midst of a transformation. No longer just a temporary home for lobbyists, lawyers and unscrupulous political operatives, Washington is defining itself as home to a plethora of cultural movers and shakers, innovators and internationally recognized business leaders. The booming business culture of our fair city is exploding right before our eyes, and those with foresight and know-how are reaping the many benefits of being in our nation’s capital at just the right time.
What distinguishes the great cities from the not so great ones? If you answered that the dynamics of a great city is its economy or its cultural foundations, then you are right, but there is so much more to it than that. Just as important as a city’s economic vigor is a city’s history, its culinary traditions and its innovative and restless citizenry. These factors all add up to form the whole puzzle, and one piece without the other is useless. Washington D.C. has all the missing pieces and is developing a grand picture for all to see − a masterful mosaic of diverse institutions, varied businesses and entertainment spots that are the envy of the country, if not the world.
This brings me to the issue you are holding in your hands. “The Purveyors of Taste” highlights some impressive new restaurants, trends and sporting institutions, and we are introducing you to the masterminds behind the scenes − those calling all the shots and succeeding at their crafts to make Washington, D.C. one of the best cities in which to live and work.
Among those featured: Ted Leonsis, the business guru and sports icon behind the Washington Wizards, Capitals and the Mystics; Jimmy Lynn of JLynn Associates, a behind-the-scenes deal maker par excellence, a man whose Rolodex has more VIPs than most of us will ever know, and whose role in countless nonprofits sets an example to us all. We also delve deeply into the delectable world of Washington’s impressive culinary scene with Geoff Tracy, a Washington native and the man behind Chef Geoff’s. We have two symbols of French cuisine − Michel Richard of Citronelle and the great innovator, Alain Ducasse. They, and other individuals we feature in this issue, have shared with us the inspiration and motivation for their creations and why they have chosen D.C. to expand their empires.
Transformations can be hectic. Many cities fail when seismic shifts are attempted, but Washington, D.C. is a city with history on its side. As we strive to continually bask in the warm glow of the Potomac, what we make of our time in the sun will determine where we are as a city in the decades to come.