Johanna Hellrigl is the Founder and Chef of Johanna's Table, a unique food business in Washington, D.C. Johanna's Table provides clients with private boutique catering, restaurant consulting, recipe and menu development, custom baked goods and personalized cooking classes. Most recently, the business has expanded to include XII by Johanna’s Table, a monthly pop up dinner series as well as an upcoming web series.
Born into a family of chefs, Hellrigl was raised in kitchens in Italy and the United States, including in New York City where her mother and father ran restaurant Palio, an upscale Italian restaurant in Midtown. As a child, the budding chef grew comfortable in Palio’s kitchen. Her South Tyrolean father, Andreas Hellrigl, a Michelin-starred chef, would set her up in a mini chef’s coat in the pastry section of the kitchen– the safest place for small hands. Upon seeing the care and precision she took cutting a zucchini as a child, he predicted accurately that she would one day end up back in the kitchen. When Andreas passed away, Hellrigl’s mother, Maria Pia, took over the restaurant, and her resilience under the circumstances taught Hellrigl the importance of perseverance in a tough industry, and her mother serves as one of her biggest role models today. Hellrigl was fortunate enough to learn from Chefs who her father entrusted with his recipes as well as their techniques and she always looked forward to her time in Palio’s kitchen.
Hellrigl traces her affinity for cooking baking back to these fond memories of soaking up lessons in the kitchen, but they did not lead her to initially pursue a culinary career. She found independence traveling after earning her Bachelor’s degree at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, working for an organization that democratically empowered women globally. While it was her parents who first put a knife in her hand, it was through travel that she came to appreciate the importance of honoring good ingredients – a method that translates strongly in her kitchen.
Hellrigl made her way back to the kitchen in 2014 when she started Johanna’s Table. She is passionate about sourcing ingredients locally, as well as community supported agriculture. She was also fortunate enough to spend time in Easton, Maryland performing a stagiaire under Chef Jordan Lloyd of the Bartlett Pear Inn where local sustainable ingredients are pertinent to the restaurant’s mission. In 2016, Hellrigl became the Head Chef of Via Umbria, an Italian restaurant and food emporium in Georgetown. At Via Umbria, she oversaw the restaurant and cafe program and produced chef tasting menus that would allow each guest to enjoy a culinary journey through Italy. Hellrigl often worked with winemakers from the regions to create pairing menus to show the history of the vineyard could be celebrated and the experience could be more personal. I worked with Tuscarora Coop and several other local farms to ensure our produce was seasonal, challenging myself and the team to utilize only what was available
To Hellrigl, cooking is about history, simplicity, and above all, allowing ingredients and flavor to stand out in a dish. Expanding an appreciation and understanding for local ingredients is a challenge the chef is eager to utilize within the community DC provides, and she has made it her mission to empower clients to enjoy cooking for themselves.
THE GEORGETOWN DISH Welcome to Johanna's Table, The Georgetown Dish
VOGUE MAGAZINE Vegetarian Meal Tips from Top Chefs, Vogue Magazine
NBC WASHINGTON NBC Washington Live TV Interview with Eun Yang
WTOP RADIO WTOP Radio Interview and Article
BITCHES WHO BRUNCH Bitches Who Brunch Review
Weekly Features in WASHINGTON POST & WASHINGTONIAN, Featured and Selected Almost Weekly while at Via Umbria for unique Chef's Table Menus & Events