Jonathan Benno
10 Columbus Circle
4th Floor
New York, NY 10019
(212) 823-9335

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Jonathan Benno
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 and service.

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.

   Published: April 2005