Jonathan Benno’s two decades in the world of fine dining have been more than well spent. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Benno made a quick—and decisive—move to the Bay Area to get his earliest experience in some of the country’s most celebrated kitchens. As a young chef, Benno worked first for Michael Mina at Aquaand later, Thomas Keller at The French Laundry.
And his heavyweight culinary experience wasn’t confined to the West Coast. Benno went on to work at Daniel in New York City, Auberge du Vieux Puits in the South of France, and again in New York as poissonier at Les Celebrites at the Essex House. Benno then spent two years with Tom Colicchio at Gramercy Tavern, one of which was devoted entirely to pastry. From there, he helped open Craft with Marco Canora. And finally, with so much experience Benno returned briefly to The French Laundry to prepare for the opening of Thomas Keller’s East Coast flagship, Per Se.
Benno was chef de cuisine at Per Se for six years, overseeing all aspects of the kitchen and working with Keller to cultivate his distinctive brand of American cuisine and service. Under Benno, Per Se received top marks from The New York Times and three Michelin stars. And Benno earned the titles of 2005 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef and “Best New Chef” from Food & Wine.