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Meet Chef Brandon and Kristal Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chef Brandon and Kristal Williams. Them and their team share their story with us below:

FishScale is the culmination of our Culinary-trained chef and co-owner to placate his mother who became a pescatarian around her birthday for a 4th of July Family cookout. Henry Brandon decided he wanted to make a burger for his mother made out of fish and throw it on the grill. The carnivores ate it up so fast she almost didn’t get one! Fast forward to Farmers’ Market by the White House in 2011 to Fast-casual restaurant in the heart of D.C for over 3 years. We pride ourselves by specializing in wild-caught sustainable fish and making it into America’s most beloved food-the burger and cheesesteak-for a healthful and great-tasting meal. Our goal is to make domestic, wild-caught, and sustainable fish more easily accessible on the go. This fast-casual restaurant is family-owned and operated with his sister Kristal who took a personal sabbatical from her career to help open FishScale. Kristal serves as the Director of Operations and is often the smiling facing taking your order at the restaurant. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Absolutely not! We proudly created a double edge sword for ourself. We strategically selected a food desert and underserved business zone in the historical area of Washington, DC to call home. We brought to the DMV a creative delicious and healthy way to enjoy “un-fried” fish. We began from humble beginnings so we didn’t have the pleasure of having the service of a PR firm so for our starter years we were that hidden neighborhood gem as just a the word was started to spread about FishScale the pandemic hit, which in itself has brought forth struggles in every way imaginable. But by faith and grace we are still standing, I would like to say unshakable and unmoved but there were moments when I wanted to ball up in the corner and just cry. and just stay there but our faith and resilience heart wouldn’t have it. Smiles. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
FishScale is family-, minority-, women-, and veteran-owned business (restaurant) that was birthed from love. Love for a mother, love for delicious food, and a love for cooking. Love and revelation inspired this family cookout treat of fire-grilled wild fish burgers, to blossom into a business that made its 1st deputy in 2012 at the White House Farmer’s Market. In 2017 FishScale re-emerged on D. C’s food scene as a brick-and-mortar restaurant. FishScale is a bistro-style fine casual restaurant whose overall goal is to provide diners a holistic approach to eating seafood, specifically fish in a manner that considers health, sustainability, and environmental preservation without comprising the one of the most important factors, the taste. Our hope is to serves as a conduit to meet the weekly intake fish recommendations by the American Heart Association and the Mediterranean Diet, which highlights non-fried cooking methods. We believe FishScale will be landmark restaurant in Washington, D.C. one that’s a favorite amongst the locals and a dining destination spot for tourist. Our unique and locally sourced offerings, many of which highlight the best of the Chesapeake Bay, along with our 4.5 rating with Yelp, Google, and EatOkra’s positions FishScale to be a landmark restaurant, especially since FishScale is loved by both carnivores and Pescatarians! 

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Finding someone who understands your passions and dreams, can see the vision but is complementary and different from you. 

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