Chef John Keller takes a fun and fearless approach to cuisine. Although his versatility is evident in the multiple talents he brings to the field as a chef, culinary consultant and media personality, his true joy is in the art of cuisine… aka cooking. John discovered his passion for the restaurant business at the age of 14 working as a busboy at at the White Marsh Dinner Theatre in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. At 18 years old, John traveled across country for a snowboarding trip to Utah where he was introduced to gourmet cooking at The Aerie, a local award winning restaurant. Here, John’s culinary techniques were mentored and his taste for progressive cuisine was born.
His penchant for good food and cooking steered him to New York City where he was classically trained at the New York Restaurant School. To pay for tuition, John worked at various restaurants including the internationally acclaimed Nobu. Soon after, John spent a brief internship at the renowned Le Bernardin.
In 2006, John Keller took the helm as Executive Chef at Bruno Jamais Restaurant Club, a chic French restaurant in the Upper East Side. John invented simple but artistic dishes with a focus on a passion for flavor and a reverence for comfort food. John continued to create his unique amalgam of innovative food at Covet, an upscale restaurant and lounge in midtown Manhattan. Presiding over New York City’s new hot spot is the man behind Miami’s nightlife resurgence, Eric Milon. Together, this powerhouse team and Chef John Keller set a new standard of elegant dining with a world‐class menu. In addition to being a world class chef, John Keller also has a consulting business that assists with restaurant kitchen and menu design, implementing systems, hiring and training staff, recipe development, conceptual ideas, and essentially creating the blue print for a successful kitchen. Covet Restaurant is an example of this type of consulting endeavor as is Celsius in Manhattan. Celsius is a two story glass enclosed pop restaurant in Bryant Park that does 1,800 covers per day in a seasonal capacity from November 1‐ March 1. Mr. Keller was the restaurant’s executive chef for 3 years before moving on to The Hotel on Rivington in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Chef Keller added Co-op Food and Drink and Victor & Spoils to his already impressive lists of successful food and beverage ventures. Co-op Food and Drink is a trendy, highly coveted destination restaurant located inside the Hotel on Rivington in New York City’s Lower East Side. During Chef Keller’s tenure with the hotel he had Co-Op Food & Drink ranked among the top 5 on Open Table’s list of top 10 hot spots in NYC. Chef John has creatively put a spin on his classical training in French and Asian cuisine when creating the menu for both venues. Co-op is his vision of a “New American Brasserie” that breathes fresh life into classical sushi/Japanese dishes. Victor and Spoils, which was opened a little later than Co-op, and conveniently right next door, is quickly became an LES favorite. A high end tequileria, mezcaleria and tacqueria that specialized in educated and creative cocktails as well as tacos. For this venture Chef John teamed up with Steve Olson and “Wine Geek” to have them complete his vision of a complete dining experience by having them pair his original meals with completely original cocktails. Contributing to the education and preservation of agave spirits and the small farmers behind the beauty and purity of their hard work and technique behind it.
Chef Keller has moved his talents to Dinner on Ludlow. He has created another LES hotspot where sustainability and affordability has become his focus. Not only has Chef Keller put an emphasis on sourcing sustainable foods working with NYC’s most reputable purveyors, but has kept Dinner on Ludlow affordable for the neighborhood. He is currently in the process of opening and owning his first restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village called Apartment 13. Again with a focus on sustainability and affordability. Chef Keller hopes to have this new venture opened by the start of Spring, 2013.
During his NYC chef’s career John Keller has been featured in media outlets such as Fox Five Good Day New York, Gothamist, New York Times, NY Metro Parents, CBS and The Strong Buzz just to name a few. Whether as a busboy, line cook, roundsman, executive chef or owner, food has undoubtedly played an important role in John’s life. At 36 years old, John Keller works tirelessly to challenge the way people view and taste food – making it bold, unique and always fun. John Keller has been featured in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Trump Magazine, Nightclub & Bar , Magazine, New York Resident Magazine, WHERE New York, Front Desk New York, FOX Good Day NewYork and others.
Link to CBS coverage: www.newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/02/10/2-in-the-kitchen-chef-john-keller
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