D.C.’s top chefs deserve a night off. This amateur cook spends big bucks to give it to them.

Copper pots hang on a rack over a large kitchen island, where the man in the chef’s jacket has started painting white plates with crimson streaks of reduced beet juice, one component of the evening’s salad course. Farther down the marble island, the amuse-bouche is already set to go: Eggshells, their tops expertly removed, are filled with an egg custard crowned with poached lobster meat.

He moves through his kitchen with a casual grace, offering a glass of 2002 Krug champagne to his guests while returning, time and again, to focus on his plates. His breezy hospitality suggests a professional who’s firmly in control. His black jacket, with the cursive “T” on the left breast, suggests a chef trained to deliver this eight-course feast featuring seared Wagyu beef, butter-poached lobster, aged grand cru Burgundies and other delicacies connected to the rarefied world of fine dining.

Don’t bother trying to guess the name of his restaurant.

It doesn’t exist.

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