Jesse Schenker's book
"THE CHEF MEMOIR WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR" - VANITY FAIR
Chef, Owner, Husband, Father of Two, Music Lover
Jesse Schenker has amassed an impressive culinary history as executive chef and owner of recette and The Gander in New York City. His contemporary approach to creating American classics is a reflection of his devotion to highly-refined technique combined with his passion for comforting and satisfying food.
Growing up in Florida, Schenker experienced epicurean pleasures that quickly ignited his passion and set him on the path toward becoming a chef. He began requesting menus from his parents’ dinners and invested in a cookbook collection that has since grown to nearly 350 volumes. His clear intensity for the culinary world found an early start and has not abated since.
Schenker channeled his excitement for food into a Culinary Degree at the Atlantic Technical Center in Coconut Creek, Florida. While in school, he was introduced to his first professional kitchen experience at Café Maxx under the tutelage of Chef Oliver Saucy. He then moved on to hold positions in the kitchens of some of Florida’s most celebrated restaurant like Chef Mark Militello’s James Beard award-winning restaurant Mark’s on Las Olasand City Cellar Wine Bar and Grille in Miami. He then moved to New York to refine and exercise his superior skills in some of the world’s finest restaurants. He accepted a position as Chef de Partie as the two-Michelin star rated Gordon Ramsay at the London where he stayed for a year and a half.
In 2009 Schenker decided to launch his own venture with a concept that took fine dining out of the restaurant, recette Private Dining. He enlisted the talents of Savoy Bakery owner Brian Ghaw and Per Se pastry alum Christina Lee, and together the trio created five, seven and ten-course tasting menus for exclusive private parties. While working at recette Private Dining, Schenker’s high-end restaurant experience did not go unseen with the opportunity to stage at two of New York City’s most prestigious dining destinations, Per Se and Jean Georges before deciding to open his own restaurant.
Schenker ultimately made his mark on the culinary scene with recette, the intimate, urban American restaurant which opened in New York’s West Village in January of 2010. Just months after its opening, recette received glowing two-star reviews from both the New York Times and New York magazine. Sam Sifton called recette one of his favorite newcomers of 2010, particularly noting Schenker’s Salt Cod Fritters as “one of the 15 best things” he ate in NYC in 2010.
He hosts “Mondays with Jesse” – a monthly dinner series where he transforms recette’s dining room the second Monday of every month, creating a seasonal 10-course tasting menu for his guests. This gives Schenker the ability to flex his culinary muscles creating memorable dishes offering unforgettable experiences for guests.
In April 2014, Schenker opened The Gander in the Flatiron District where he serves a menu of sophisticated, yet casual, American dishes complimented by a deep international wine list. The warm and welcoming restaurant and bar room is open for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Over the years Schenker has received a number of awards and accolades, including a spot on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in the food and wine industry in December 2011 and inclusion in Details magazine’s “America’s Best Young Chefs” list in August 2011. Schenker was also victorious in his battle on Food Network’s Iron Chef America in 2010.
Most recently, Schenker wrote his first book, All or Nothing: One Chef’s Appetite for the Extreme (Harper Collins, September 30, 2014, $25.99). In his memoir, Schenker reflects on his insatiable appetite for the extreme, which has led to his biggest triumphs and failures.
Schenker lives in New York City with his wife and two children.