Rising Star Chef Damon Wise of The Monkey Bar - Biography

New York, NY

November 2011

2007 New York Rising Star Chef Damon Wise, a Baltimore native, got his first taste of fresh, seasonal ingredients during childhood summers on the Chesapeake Bay Shore. There Damon enjoyed seafood caught that day by his grandfather and just-picked produce from his grandmother’s garden.

Damon began his professional cooking career to earn extra money while studying at West Virginia University. After graduating in 1993 with degrees in Psychology and Liberal Arts, Wise tried his hand at real estate and sales, but soon realized that cooking was all he could think about. Despite his mother’s doubts in the stability of a chef’s career, Wise enrolled in the Professional Cooking and Baking programs at Baltimore International Culinary College, and graduated in 1996.

After working at several hotels and restaurants across the United States, including Le Bec Fin under George Perrier in Philadelphia and The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV, Wise decided to travel through France, staging at both Taillevent and Apicius in Paris. Wise always knew that New York was his ultimate career destination, and moved there after his travels to work in Gramercy Tavern, Lespinasse and Cello. In 2004, he was hired as chef de cuisine at Tom Colicchio’s Craft and climbed to executive chef position in April 2007. He is currently Executive Chef at The Monkey Bar in New York.