Jonathan Benno – Alumni Bio

Jonathan Benno '93, executive chef of Per Se gives a lecture and cooking demo to CIA students.
Jonathan Benno ’93,  gives a lecture and cooking demo to CIA students.


Major: Culinary Arts
Job Title: Executive Chef
Location: New York, New York

Jonathan Benno spent 15 years in some of the nation’s finest kitchens before working for renowned Chef Thomas Keller at Per Se. As chef de cuisine, Jonathan oversaw all aspects of the kitchen, and Food & Wine magazine recognized his talents by naming him one of its Best New Chefs of 2006. Also, the Mobil Travel Guide lauded Per Se as one of only 15 restaurants with a five-star rating, and the Michelin Guide New York City 2006 gave Per Se its most prestigious honor, a three-star rating. Jonathan is the first American-born and trained chef to earn three stars from Michelin. It was that reputation that had restaurateur Nick Valenti choosing him to open Lincoln in 2010, an elegant Italian restaurant at Lincoln Center in New York City.

After graduating from the CIA, Jonathan moved to San Francisco to work for fellow CIA alumnus Michael Mina ’89 at Aqua. He then joined Chef Keller at the French Laundry before testing himself in the kitchens of the Manhattan-based Restaurant Daniel and Les Célébrités. After a stint working in France, Jonathan joined Tom Colicchio at Gramercy Tavern and, later, opened the celebrated Craft with Marco Canora in New York City.