An open letter from our founders in support of Black Lives Matter

About Us

KNEAD Hospitality + Design is a Washington DC based multi-unit / multi-concept boutique restaurant company which owns, operates and designs its own restaurants in addition to partnering with celebrity chefs to create unmatched dining experiences over a broad range of concepts and cuisines.

Meet Our Team

Founder & Principal

Michael Reginbogin


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Michael Reginbogin is the Founder & Principal of Washington D.C. based KNEAD Hospitality + Design – a multi-concept / multi-unit boutique restaurant company which owns and operates a number of Celebrity Chef-driven restaurants including SUCCOTASH, MI VIDA, THE GRILL, GATSBY & MAH-ZE-DAHR. Additionally, Michael serves as KNEAD’s Design Director. A California native and USC graduate, Reginbogin cut his teeth in the restaurant industry with the Houston’s/Hillstone family of restaurants, which he considers the foundation for the career path that followed, including leadership roles at respected restaurant groups across the nation including the TAO Group, BR Guest Restaurant Group, Samba Brands Management, Dream Hotels and more.


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Founder & Principal

Jason Berry


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Jason Berry was raised in Los Angeles with a passion for cooking and dining. From a young age, he gravitated to the restaurant industry where his love of all things food could be combined with a deep respect for genuine hospitality. He received a BS in Business Entrepreneurship and Japanese from the University of Southern California and later earned an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In over three decades in the restaurant business, Jason has worked with a wide variety of concepts from Wendy’s to California Pizza Kitchen and Houston’s (Hillstone) in both front and back of house positions. In 2004, he joined Rosa Mexicano as Regional Director of Operations, overseeing the company’s growth from three to nineteen locations around the world. He was named Chief Operating Officer in 2011. In 2014, Jason moved to Washington, D.C. and formed KNEAD Hospitality + Design with his partner Michael Reginbogin. Together, they have collaborated on the design and creation of what is now the KNEAD family of restaurants.


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Culinary Director, Succotash

Edward Lee


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James Beard Award winner Edward Lee is the author of Smoke & Pickles and Buttermilk Graffiti; chef/owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky; and culinary director of Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. He appears frequently in print and on television, including earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the Emmy Award–winning series The Mind of a Chef. Most recently, he wrote and hosted the feature documentary Fermented. He lives in Louisville and Washington, DC, and you can find him on Instagram and Twitter @chefedwardlee.


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Culinary Director, Mi Vida | The Grill

Roberto Santibañez


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Born in Mexico City, Chef Roberto Santibañez graduated with honors from Paris’ prestigious Le Cordon Bleu. His award-winning international career includes culinary consultant, author, and teacher. He founded three highly-acclaimed restaurants in Mexico City before serving four years as Executive Chef at Fonda San Miguel in Austin, Texas and five years as Culinary Director for Rosa Mexicano restaurants in New York City. Chef Santibañez has authored Rosa’s New Mexican Table, nominated for an IACP and a James Beard Award. His second book, Truly Mexican, was named by The New York Times as one of the Notable Cookbooks of 2011. Food & Wine magazine honored his Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales as one of the best cookbooks of 2012. He serves on The Culinary Institute of America’s Latin Cuisines Advisory Council. Chef Santibañez is the chef/owner of three Fonda restaurants in New York City as well as Mi Vida in Washington, D.C. and serves as Culinary Director of Blue Dahlia within Wegman’s market in Natick, Massachusetts.


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Culinary Director, Mah-Ze-Dahr

Umber Ahmad


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James Beard Award semi-finalist Umber Ahmad grew up traveling around the world, belonging simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. Her family is from Pakistan and she grew up in a town in northern Michigan filled with first-generation Finns and Swedes. The magic of spices was first taught to her in Pakistan, where as a very young girl, she learned that food had a language all its own. After studying genetics at MIT and business at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Umber spent much of her career in finance. During her tenure as an investment banker, she was the subject of “Risk|Reward”, a critically acclaimed 2002 TriBeCa Film Festival-premiered documentary about women on Wall Street.

Umber is a founding Managing Director of a boutique investment advisory firm that specializes in business development throughout MENA, Europe and Asia. In this capacity, she works closely with sustainable food providers, emerging technologies, luxury brands and world-renowned chefs to expand their concepts globally. Continuing with this work, in 2014 in collaboration with Chef Tom Colicchio, Umber created the next great culinary experience with Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery. Based in New York City, Mah-Ze-Dahr creates memories and storytelling through exquisite pastries. Umber and her work with Mah-Ze-Dahr have received a number of awards and been featured in myriad publications, including The New York Times, Vogue, Travel & Leisure, Marth Stewart and more.


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Careers

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News & Press

Friends of KNEAD,

We want to take a moment to voice our support for the black community, including our teammates, during these difficult times of upheaval throughout our country, and specifically in our hometown of Washington, DC. We deeply believe that Black Lives Matter and hope all of you will join us in solidarity with the black community.

What was reignited by horrendous events in Minneapolis and in Atlanta is symptomatic of deeply rooted systemic racism that has haunted our nation for centuries. The pandemic, which we are all suffering through, has laid bare the differences caused by race, income and ethnicity. These events have compounded the stress and helplessness that our citizens have been reeling from these last few months. It is no surprise to see our major cities boiling over with anger towards overt racism and police brutality. It is wrong on all levels for rights to be denied because of skin color, and we as a company vehemently condemn it. These senseless acts of violence against our citizens lay bare the open fissures that exist in our country.

We have seen brave people peacefully protesting the injustices that have plagued the black community for many years. We have also sadly witnessed bad actors bringing violence and destruction to our cities, but the peaceful aspect of these protests is clearly indicative of a need for greater respect, change and understanding for our citizens. We pray that those using their voices in a peaceful manner are not drowned out by those attempting to sabotage the right to protest and create anarchy and chaos in our cities.

KNEAD is an intentional melting pot that represents the best of our country and our community. It is through this diversity that we can show the world the best of what makes us special, unique and better together. We value equality, dignity and respect. While we cannot share the same experiences as some of our black colleagues, teammates, and friends, we must be sensitive to each other and take the time to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes ‐ remembering to always be honest, direct, and above all, kind. While we are all facing challenges and uncertainty that many of us have never seen before, we believe that these times are an opportunity for all of us to stand up for what is right, actively create change and ultimately become stronger from it. The past has shown that during times of civil unrest, pandemics and economic upheaval, the world has become better, stronger and more just. We know it is difficult to be optimistic, but we are hopeful for better times ahead.

What can we do? We pledge to listen, educate ourselves, and find ways to be a part of the solution. To start, we have made a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative on behalf of KNEAD and its employees, with the hopes of helping their organization fight racial injustice and end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S. If you feel there is something that KNEAD can do better, please reach out to us. While we cannot do everything, especially in light of the economic impact that the pandemic has brought to our restaurants, we are committed to being part of the awakening and long‐overdue restructuring of our country.

Wishing you health, safety and peace during this time,

Jason and Michael
KNEAD Hospitality + Design Founders