Rising Star Restaurateur Jonathon Sawyer of Team Sawyer - Biography

Cleveland, OH

November 2016

Chef Jonathon Sawyer is a proud Clevelander and graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. He began his culinary career at The Biltmore Hotel in Miami before working in New York City alongside Charlie Palmer at Kitchen 22. Sawyer worked next as chef de cuisine for friend and colleague Michael Symon, and then became Symon’s executive chef at Parea, which earned two stars from The New York Times.


In 2007, Sawyer returned to his Cleveland hometown, partnering with a local entrepreneur to open Bar Cento, a modern Roman enoteca that earned immediate accolades. Sawyer has since opened several of his own restaurants in Cleveland, including his flagship The Greenhouse Tavern, a French and seasonally inspired gastropub; Noodlecat, a quick service ramen shop focusing on local ingredients and sustainability; and Trentina, a northern Italian-inspired restaurant named runner-up in Esquire’s 2014 “Best New Restaurants.” Sawyer also operates Sawyer’s Street Frites in the Cleveland Browns Stadium and SeeSaw Pretzel Shoppe in Quicken Loans Arena. 


Sawyer was honored as a Food & Wine “Best New Chef” in 2010. In 2013, he became a finalist for James Beard’s “Best Chef, Great Lakes,” and went on to win the award in 2015. Sawyer has made several national television appearances, including “Iron Chef America,” “Dinner Impossible,” “Unique Eats,” and “Best Thing I Ever Ate.” Sawyer also appeared as an investor on the CNBC’s Lebron James-produced show “Cleveland Hustles,” which debuted August 2016 and highlights several Cleveland-area entrepreneurs who are competing for the support and guidance of local business owners. In the fall of 2016, Sawyer won a StarChefs Rust Belt Rising Star Award.