Chef Jonathan Benno of Lincoln - Biography

New York, NY

September 2016

Jonathan Benno has worked alongside the country’s most venerable chefs—and ultimately struck out on his own to become one. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Benno worked on the West Coast for Michael Mina at Aqua and then Thomas Keller at The French Laundry. Back East, he went on to work at Daniel, followed by a stint at Auberge du Vieux Puits in the South of France. Returning to New York City, he served as poissonier at Les Celebrites at the Essex House, and then spent the next two years with Tom Colicchio at Gramercy Tavern, with one year devoted to pastry. From there, he opened Craft with Marco Canora.

To prepare for the opening of restaurant-of-the-decade Per Se Benno briefly returned to work for Keller in Napa. He then stepped into the spotlight. Benno served as chef de cuisine of Per Se for six years, overseeing all aspects of the kitchen and working with Keller to cultivate their distinctive brand of classic dishes. Under Benno, Per Se received top marks from The New York Times and three Michelin stars. Benno also earned the titles of 2005 StarChefs Rising Star and “Best New Chef” from Food & Wine.

After more than two decades of helping run America’s great kitchens, Benno opened his own in 2014. Lincoln Ristorante at the Lincoln Center now has its own Michelin star and two stars from The New York Times. In the coming months, he will open a second, more casual Italian restaurant with his name over the door. Benno—the restaurant—will feature refined, classic Italian dishes. It will also expand Benno’s reach, in terms of diners fed and young cooks trained in the exacting standards that help propel and define his career.