WILLIAMSBURG — Wanda Gonzales, the caring wife and business partner of the late Chef John Gonzales, announced in a public letter that the renowned local restaurant is closing its doors.
Mrs. Gonzales’ letter was posted online on the front page of A Chef’s Kitchen’s website.
Since opening for business in 2004, the restaurant has made a name for itself as one of the Historic Triangle’s most unique dining experiences.
A Chef’s Kitchen was a 27-seat restaurant where Chef Gonzales and his sous chef, Nick Allen, cooked in front of the restaurant’s guests five nights a week; dishing out original recipes and adding entertainment to it all.
Chef Gonzales was highly accomplished in the culinary world before they set up shop in Merchants Square. He served as executive chef for both The Ritz Carlton-Fairfax Hotel and The Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. He also worked as a consultant for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation before he became the executive chef for the Foundation’s four taverns, along with other Colonial Williamsburg properties.
Chef Gonzales’ passing shocked the local culinary and restaurant scene.
According to Mrs. Gonzales’ letter, “The unthinkable happened in October 2021. John died. The struggle since then has been to come to terms with losing John and to search for a way to continue without him. The former remains a daunting task, but we have accepted defeat of the latter and are permanently closing A Chef’s Kitchen, a place without peer.”
In her letter, Mrs. Gonzales thanks all of the local patrons who visited A Chef’s Kitchen over the past 18 years since they’ve been in business.
According to her letter, “John and I knew that our concept could work and be something special. We knew that at the gut-level required to make the necessary sacrifices and to risk everything we had — and more — to make that happen. We did not know, had no inkling, of how profoundly we would be moved by our patrons. Getting to meet and know so many good people has been a gift.”
The full statement by Mrs. Gonzales can be found on the restaurant’s website.