Recognition & Awards
- James Beard Foundation: Five times nominated for Best Chef Mid Atlantic
- Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s RAMMY Award for Best Fine Dining Restaurant & Chef of the Year
- Washingtonian magazine’s 100 Very Best Restaurants
- DiRoNA Award for Fine Dining
- Washington Post top 50 restaurants
- Wine Spectator Award of Excellence
- Town & Country magazine’s Best Restaurant in Washington, DC
- Conde Nast magazine’s 60 Hot Tables
- Bon Appetit magazine’s Top Tables
- Esquire magazine’s Best New Restaurants
- Gourmet magazine’s America’s Top Tables: Newcomer
Chef Todd C. Gray & Ellen Kassoff Gray opened Equinox in 1999 to showcase their shared passion for food and hospitality that truly makes a difference within Washington D.C.’s vibrant culinary community. While focusing on innovative interpretations of classic American cuisine, Todd and Ellen have shaped as much as they have embraced a distinctly Mid-Atlantic cuisine in the last two decades. Every plate coming from Todd’s kitchen tells a story of place, celebrating mid-Atlantic cuisine through sophisticated seasonal dishes.
Combining their restaurant expertise with philanthropy has also been a cornerstone of Todd and Ellen’s philosophy. Dedicated and active advocates for sustainable agriculture, fisheries and humanely raised animals; they also support numerous charities such as Children's Hospital, The EDCJCC (Jewish Community Center of DC), The National Zoo. They created A Sugar & Champagne Affair, a distinct event that united pastry chefs and champagne producers for a dog-friendly evening that benefited the Washington Humane Society, which raised some $800,000 in its 14 year history.
The two were uniquely involved with shaping the food policies of the Obama White House. They worked closely First Lady Michelle Obama and White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor Sam Kass to help develop and launch what would become the most significant movement for Chefs all over the world: “Chefs Move to Schools.” It had had the greatest impact on affecting change in our nation's schools and began the dialogue between chefs, our country's students, and their families. A conversation which continues today.
Todd and Ellen’s first cookbook, The New Jewish Table (St. Martin’s Press, 2013), tells the story of how the couple melded their culinary and personal lives to create new and meaningful family traditions. They live with their son in Washington, DC and can often be seen commuting three miles to the restaurant on their bicycles.