PER SE | New York City
As Chef de Cuisine at Per Se, Jonathan Benno oversees
all aspects of the kitchen and works directly with Chef/Owner
Thomas Keller to create a distinctive brand of American cuisine
Quality and integrity have been the hallmarks of Jonathan's
career and demonstrated in his passion for sourcing out the
finest ingredients. Meticulous by nature and precise by training,
Chef Benno's fifteen years of experience in the nation's finest
kitchens has prepared him well to work beside Thomas Keller,
one of the world's most celebrated chefs.
Jonathan attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde
Park, NY. While at the CIA, he worked at the Mayflower Inn
under Chef John Farnsworth, who encouraged him to regard education
as a lifelong process.
After graduation, Chef Benno moved to the Bay Area where
he came to appreciate the bounty of fresh, locally grown ingredients.
Settling in San Francisco, Jonathan worked under Michael Mina
at Aqua, the acclaimed seafood restaurant. After a year and
a half at Aqua, he left San Francisco to join Thomas Keller
at the French Laundry. Keller became an important influence
in Jonathan's life, helping to shape his philosophy about
food and dining and instilling in him the drive to settle
for nothing less than excellence.
While California played a pivotal role in his evolution as
a chef, Jonathan wanted to return to the East Coast to test
himself in the kitchens of Manhattan. For two years he focused
on French cuisine, working in the kitchens of Restaurant Daniel
and Les Celebrites. Jonathan then went to France to work for
Gilles Goujon at his Michelin One-Star restaurant, Auberge
des Vieux Puits in Corbieres.
Upon returning from France, Jonathan joined Tom Colicchio
at Gramercy Tavern where he spent two years in the kitchen
and a year with Claudia Fleming in the pastry department.
He then opened Craft as a sous chef with Marco Canora. Chef
Colicchio's thoughtful approach to food and his passion for
sourcing out the best ingredients reinforced Jonathan's belief
that superior raw materials and thoughtful preparation are
essential to the creation of great cuisine. It was the pursuit
of these culinary ideals that brought Chef Benno back to The
French Laundry for eighteen months to prepare for the opening
of Per Se in 2004 and to the next stage in his development
as one of the nation's most innovative chefs.