BlueStar Appliances Bring Restaurant Quality Performance to Acclaimed Chef Jonathan Benno’s Home Kitchen
June 28, 2018
Chef Tests Recipes at Home to Prep for Opening of Two Highly-Anticipated NYC Restaurants
BLANDON, PA, June 29 – Jonathan Benno, the celebrated chef who has worked in many of America’s most renowned restaurants, from The French Laundry to Daniel and more recently, Lincoln, wanted to bring the same level of restaurant performance to his home kitchen. When it came time to renovate his Hastings-on-Hudson, NY family home, he chose a full suite of BlueStar® professional style appliances – a high-performance range, pro-style hood and the award-winning built-in refrigerator – joining an exclusive group of BlueStar® All-Star Chefs, including Michael Symon, Ford Fry and Marc Vetri, among others, who are passionate about achieving restaurant quality results at home.
Besides cooking meals for the family, Chef Benno has been using his BlueStar® equipment to test recipes for his newest projects: two restaurants opening this summer inside the Evelyn Hotel in Manhattan’s NoMad District: Leonelli Taberna, open now, and Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria, an in-house bakery opening this July (serving variously topped and filled focaccia plus Italian sweets). Both restaurants were inspired by Rome’s venerable Roscioli, a combination deli-wine bar-restaurant that operates its own bakery. A signature fine dining restaurant, Benno, will open later this fall.
His home kitchen, outfitted with BlueStar® appliances, gives him an opportunity which few professional chefs have—a place to test out recipes and experiment with menu items at home using equipment with a similar level of power and performance to that in his restaurants.
“When you design a commercial restaurant kitchen there are three things that are really important for a functional space: Fire (your cooktop), Water and Refrigeration,” said Chef Benno. “These are the most important aspects of a well-designed home kitchen as well.”
Chef Benno’s new home kitchen features a complete suite of appliances that are designed to work seamlessly together, from cooking to cooling, including a 36” all burner Nova Series range, 36” ProLine hood and a 36” Built-In Refrigerator. Benno customized his stainless steel range with cobalt blue knobs (one of the 750+ color options offered by BlueStar®) and loves its unsurpassed power and performance. Benno’s Nova Series range features six 22,000 BTU open burners which, the chef noted, allow him to boil water “lightning-fast” – a plus for someone who makes a lot of pasta. Benno also praises the gentle and consistent 130 degree simmer burner. “I can put on a braise to cook all afternoon and not have to worry about it scorching on the bottom or the sides,” he said.
The range is paired with high-performance ventilation designed to handle the range’s power. The complimentary BlueStar® pro-style kitchen ventilation hood combines heavy-duty construction with seamless design to offer uncompromised durability, functionality and beauty.
The new, award-winning 36” Built-in Refrigerator offers the same true commercial strength in his home that the chef relies on at work. With durable stainless steel interiors, dual compressors for enhanced food preservation and roomy interiors, the BlueStar® Built-In Refrigeration line is designed for serious cooking and entertaining. The refrigerator’s fully extending bottom shelf is designed to fit a full-size commercial sheet pan — as is the freezer shelf – that way, extra-large pans prepped with focaccia or cookies can go straight from the refrigerator or freezer into an oversized BlueStar® oven, another brand hallmark. The chef uses the refrigerator to keep fresh pasta in his fridge, or to spread out just-cooked ingredients that he needs to cool down quickly. “It’s made out of stainless steel. The shelves are all glass. It is virtually indestructible. And it’s wide enough that you can slide a full sheet pan into the shelves and freezer, perfect for prep,” said Chef Benno.
BlueStar® is thrilled to welcome Chef Jonathan Benno to its All-Star Chef program. One of his signature recipes debuting at Leonelli Taberna and tested in the Benno home kitchen is pasta al forno lasagna. For the recipe and cooking tips from the chef please visit https://www.bluestarcooking.com/inspiration/chefs/jonathan-benno/ .
BlueStar® cooking and refrigeration products are designed for discerning home chefs who demand restaurant-quality results in their own kitchens. In business since 1880, the Pennsylvania-based manufacturer specializes in handcrafted gas ranges, cooktops, electric and gas wall ovens and complementary kitchen ventilation hoods and premium refrigeration. BlueStar® offers its cooking equipment, refrigeration and ventilation in more than 750 colors and 10 metal trims such as brass and copper. You can design a customized BlueStar® appliance at “Build Your Own BlueStar”. For further information visit www.bluestarcooking.com.
For more information on Chef Jonathan Benno and his restaurants, visit www.leonellirestaurants.com.
ABOUT JONATHAN BENNO
Considered one of the top chefs in the country, and recognized for his dedication to quality and craftsmanship, Jonathan Benno’s career spans more than three decades, having worked in some of the world’s finest restaurants. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, the spirit of his cuisine has been cultivated through his mentors including John Farnsworth, Michael Mina, Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio, and Thomas Keller, who helped shape his philosophy about food and dining, and instill in him the drive to settle for nothing less than excellence. Benno spent six years as the Chef de Cuisine of Per Se, during which time he helped earn the restaurant three Michelin stars and four stars from the New York Times, and was named a Food & Wine Magazine “Best New Chef.” Most recently, Chef Benno spent six years at the helm of Lincoln Center’s Lincoln Ristorante, where he gained critical acclaim for his contemporary Italian Cuisine.
ABOUT LEONELLI TABERNA
Leonelli Taberna is a casual Roman-inspired trattoria with an accompanying craft cocktail bar and lounge. Located in the landmarked and newly redesigned Evelyn Hotel in New York’s NoMad neighborhood, the art deco inspired design and rich color palette of dark woods, green marble, and amber tones seamlessly meld “old New York” with “old world Italy,” creating a space that feels at once warm, accessible, and exciting. The menu of rustic Italian cuisine begins with the highest quality ingredients, prepared with respect to traditional practices and processes. The beverage program includes a focused and approachable list of Italian wines, as well as several private label wines, beer, and cider created in partnership with the restaurant. Cocktails showcase both Italian spirits and local producers in classic drinks and distinct preparations.
* Photo credit: Evan Sung