Chef Jesse Schenker of The Gander - Biography

New York, NY

September 2015

For Chef Jesse Schenker, childhood’s major focus wasn’t found in the toy store, school yard, or even in the deep recesses of his own fantastical imagination. His focus was on the kitchen. He requested menus from his parents’ dinners out, and unlike other kids his age, Schenker collected cookbooks. His collection—like his culinary skills—has grown (to around 350 books).

Schenker’s first food job was at McDonald’s, but he then went on to stage at some of New York’s most illustrious restaurants, including Le Bernardin, Per Se, and Jean Georges. Schenker went on to work at Gordon Ramsay at the London before finally opening the temple to his own gastronomical dreams, Recette in Manhattan’s West Village.

With Recette, which opened in 2010 when the chef was just 27 years old, Schenker has a forum for his own unmitigated creativity. A contemporary urban restaurant, Recette is the kind of place where comfort meets attitude and indulgence meets sophistication. Just months after its opening, Recette received glowing two-star reviews from The New York Times and New York Magazine.

In 2014, Schenker opened The Gander in the Flatiron District, where he serves a menu of sophisticated, yet casual, American dishes complimented by a deep international wine list. Over the years, Schenker has received a number of awards and accolades, including a spot on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list and 2011 StarChefs Rising Stars Award. He also was victorious in his battle on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” Most recently, Schenker wrote his first book, All or Nothing: One Chef’s Appetite for the Extreme, a memoir.