Jonathan Waxman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the American chef. For the British physician and author, see Jonathan Waxman (physician).

Jonathan Waxman (born 1950) is an American chef who was one of the pioneers of California cuisine and is credited with being the first to bring its style, fusing French cooking techniques with the freshest local ingredients, to New York.[1]

Early years[edit]

Born in 1950, Waxman grew up in a jewish family near Berkeley, California.[2] After graduating from the University of Nevada at Reno, he found work playing in bands at casinos and later with a rock band named "Lynx".[3]


Waxman eventually gave up his career as a trombonist to study at La Varenne cooking school in France.[4] He then became chef at the birthplace of California cuisine, Chez Panisse, following the departure of Jeremiah Tower.[5] In 1979, he and chef-entrepreneur Michael McCarty opened Michael's restaurant in an old mansion near the Santa Monica beach; the groundbreaking cuisine attracted diners from all over America.[6] Five years later, he opened Jams Restaurant on East 79th Street in New York; the chance to dine with what New York Magazine called "an elder statesman of the new California cooking" made Jams the most sought after dining sensation of the season.[7] His work at Jams made him a celebrity chef; "whoever said chefs in the 80's were like rock-and-roll stars", said one reviewer, "had Jonathan in mind."[3] Among other restaurants created by Waxman are Bud's, Hulot's, Jams of London and Table 29.[8] Esquire magazine put him on its list of most influential Americans.[9]

Waxman is currently the chef-owner of Barbuto in New York City's West Village. a.[10] (West County Grill closed in August 2008) According to New York Magazine, Barbuto's food is "rustic Italian," and the mood is "casually hip."[11] His new cookbook, Italian, My Way published by Simon & Schuster, features recipes that are "Italian flavored by unmistakably Californian elements".[12]

Top Chef: Masters[edit]

In 2010, Waxman was a contestant on Bravo's Top Chef: Masters. He was eliminated in the penultimate episode, placing fourth out of twenty-two competitors.[13] James Oseland, one of the main judges for season two of Top Chef: Masters, has been quoted saying, "I think he is one of the country’s greatest chefs."[14]

Personal life[edit]

He lives in Manhattan with his wife Sally and three children. .[15]


  1. ^ Scattergood, Amy (2007-09-19). "Jonathan Waxman shares his wealth". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  2. ^ Kamp, United States of Arugula, p. 257
  3. ^ a b Witchel, Alex (April 17, 2002). "How a Celebrity Chef of the 80's Got His Stove Back". The New York Times ( Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  4. ^ "Waxman website's bio page". Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  5. ^ "Smith, ''Eating History'', p.261". Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  6. ^ "Whitaker, ''Great Kitchens'', p. 115". Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  7. ^ Gael Greene 1984 review of Jams This review also says he is 33 years old, thus establishing his age.
  8. ^ "James Beard Foundation website bio". Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  9. ^ "Culinary dream team to whip up the 2003 Biltmore Great South Florida Wine Festival" (PDF) (Press release). Biltmore Hotel. 2003. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  10. ^ "Jonathan Waxman's official website". Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  11. ^ Platt, Adam (2003-04-12). "Adam Platt review of Barbuto in New York Magazine". Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  12. ^ Fabricant, Florence (March 22, 2011). "Jonathan Waxman: Food Inspired by Italy, but All His Own". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ "Episode 9 on Bravo website". Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  14. ^ "Top Chef: Masters blog". 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  15. ^ "Top Chef: Masters biography". Retrieved 2012-02-07.