ABOUt the chef
Chef John Keller began his culinary journey at the age of 7. His first memories were of picking strawberries and string beans with his mother at Webber’s farm in Baltimore, MD. Growing up in a family full of cooks, Chef relished these times being the kitchen helper for his grandmother and watching the results as everyone would gather at the dinner table.
At 14, he began his professional journey in the restaurant world, fondly remembering his first job as a waiter and busboy but always stealing off to watch, ask questions and try his best to help the cooks in the kitchen. "There is to this day a childlike wonderment about food and cooking that continue to inspire me"
At the age of 19 Chef became the dishwasher at the Keyhole Cantina in Snowbird’s Cliff Lodge in Utah. While pursuing his other passion of snowboarding, Chef quickly rose up the ranks and became a line cook. After 2 years of cooking at the resort, Chef was ready for the big leagues and went to pursue all the training and knowledge he could find in New York City.
In 1998 he enrolled in the New York Restaurant School where he finished at the top of his class and at the same time landed a cooking job under the famous Nobu Matsuhisa at world-renowned Nobu in TriBeCa, NYC. Working at Nobu opened his palate to a whole new realm of culinary possibilities. It not only taught him the structure, discipline, attention to detail, and inner workings of how one of the top restaurants in the world functions from day to day, but also ingrained in him the unlimited creative possibilities one can achieve when truly putting your heart and soul into their cooking. Chef remained at Nobu for two years before moving on to the famed NYC restaurant Le Bernardin, where he was taught the genius simplicity of world-class seafood from Eric Ripert.
At 24, Chef John was ready to embark on his own journey as a chef. He decided to specialize in French bistro cuisine, giving him yet a new outlook on gastronomy and allowing him to open the celebrated 'Brunos' with Bruno Jamais on the Upper East Side. Bruno's quickly earned a reputation for catering with exceptional hospitality and food to Manhattans uptown celebrities and politicians . Lavish weddings, private events and grand galas was daily fare for Chef John and Bruno J, who formed a lifelong friendship during those years.
For more than two decades, Chef John has developed a reputation as a leading executive chef, chef consultant, entrepreneur and compassionate friend. With over10 new opening in the last decade in NYC and around the country, Chef has become a sought after leader for new restaurant openings.
In late 2016 he began the next step in his culinary adventures. Always dreaming of moving to Hawaii Chef John began his Polynesian trip in Tahiti and Moorea. Here he launched a celebrated food collaboration at Moorea Beach Cafe with old friend Bruno Jamais. Working closely with the Polynesians, Chef immersed himself in the style, cuisine and culture. Continuing his cooking journey to Hawaii, Oahu, and Kauai, his love of connecting with the Island locals, entrenching himself in their culture and cuisine became a undeniable part of his being.
In early 2018 he made the move across the world from NYC to Kauai, the Island he fell in love with. Living in Kilauea on the North shore he has established relationships with local farmers, hunters, and food lovers. Letting his passion for food and the complete dining experience lead the way he launched 'Chef John Keller' - his own private chef experience where he shares his passion, food experiences of old and new and the secret treasures of the island with locals and visitors alike. Whether an upscale formal dinner, a casual traditional meal, or an extravagant wedding Chef John Keller brings the creative vision, the attention to detail, and the experience necessary to execute the ultimate culinary journey when visiting Kauai.