Chef Jonathon Sawyer is a proud Clevelander and a graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. He began his culinary career at The Biltmore Hotel in Miami before working in New York City alongside Charlie Palmer at Kitchen 22. Chef Sawyer worked as Chef de Cuisine for his friend and colleague Michael Symon, and then became Symon’s Executive Chef at Parea, receiving a two star review from The New York Times.
In 2007, Jonathon moved back to his hometown to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant. Before his dream was realized, Chef Sawyer partnered with a local entrepreneur to open Bar Cento, a modern Roman enoteca in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. During his tenure as chef and partner, Bar Cento received many accolades, including Northern Ohio Live's Best New Restaurant, and earned Chef the Rising Star Chef award from both Restaurant Hospitality and GAYOT.
Chef Sawyer has since opened several of his own restaurants in Cleveland, including his flagship The Greenhouse Tavern, a French and seasonally inspired gastropub; Noodlecat, a quick service ramen shop focusing on local ingredients and sustainability; and Trentina, a northern Italian inspired restaurant that was named a runner up in Esquire's Best New Restaurants in October 2014. Chef Sawyer also operates Sawyer’s Street Frites in the Cleveland Browns Stadium, and opened another stadium establishment called SeeSaw Pretzel Shoppe in Quicken Loans Arena.
The chef was honored as a recipient of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef award in 2010. In 2013, he became a finalist for the James Beard Award's Best Chef: Great Lakes, and won the prestigious award in 2015. Chef Sawyer has also made several national television appearances, including “Iron Chef America,” “Dinner Impossible,” “Unique Eats,” “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” “Chopped” and “Iron Chef: Gauntlet.” Sawyer’s appearance as an investor on the CNBC Lebron James-produced show “Cleveland Hustles,” which debuted August 2016 and highlights several Cleveland-area entrepreneurs competing for the support and guidance of local business owners.
When Chef is not in the kitchen, he is surrounded by his family, including his wife Amelia, son Catcher, and daughter Louisiana. He is a tireless supporter of the green movement, local agriculture and sustainable businesses both in Northeast Ohio and around the country.