Considered one of the top chefs in the country, and recognized for his dedication to quality and craftsmanship, Jonathan Benno's career spans more than three decades, having worked in some of the world's finest restaurants. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, the spirit of his cuisine has been cultivated through his mentors including John Farnsworth, Michael Mina, Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio, and Thomas Keller, who helped shape his philosophy about food and dining, and instill in him the drive to settle for nothing less than excellence. Benno spent six years as the Chef de Cuisine of Per Se, during which time he helped earn the restaurant three Michelin stars and four stars from the New York Times, and was named a Food & Wine Magazine "Best New Chef." Most recently, Chef Benno spent six years at the helm of Lincoln Center's Lincoln Ristorante, where he gained critical acclaim for his contemporary Italian Cuisine.
In 2018 the newly redesigned landmark The Evelyn Hotel, located in New York's vibrant NoMad neighborhood, became home to the next chapter in Chef Benno's culinary epoch. He introduced three distinct, yet complementary concepts: Leonelli Taberna, a casual Roman-inspired trattoria; Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria, a bakery and cafe inspired by the great bakeries of Rome and New York's rich history of Italian-American pastry shops; and his first eponymous project, Benno, a fine dining restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine (opening November 2018). Having assembled expert culinary, beverage, and service teams - many of whom are alumni of Per Se and Lincoln Ristorante - these three projects represent the culmination of Chef Benno's life-long dedication to the hospitality profession.