Chef Showdown: Thomas Keller Protégés Face Off

Jonathan Benno and Corey Lee both go solo.

The only American chef to oversee two Michelin three-star restaurants has cultivated talent on both coasts. Now two of his disciples go solo.


Courtesy of Lincoln and Benu
Former Post: Chef de cuisine at Per Se
New Eatery: New York City's Lincoln serves deceptively simple Italian food elevated by Benno's passion for perfection.
Signature Dish: For his spin on pesto, Benno swaps out the basil for squash blossoms and serves it with impeccable strozzapreti made in-house with a $3,500 pasta machine.


Courtesy of Lincoln and Benu
Former Post: Chef de cuisine at the French Laundry
New Eatery: San Francisco's Benu shows off Lee's painstaking technique plus his penchant for Asian esoterica, which equals big flavors.
Signature Dish: To concoct an ecologically sound version of shark's-fin soup, Lee pours a flavorful Chinese-ham-infused broth over Dungeness crab and a truffle custard.

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