Legendary California Chef to Cook at Legendary NY Restaurant

We are excited to see what chef Jeremiah Tower will bring to Tavern on the Green.

Tavern on the Green owners Jim Caiola and David Salama have announced the appointment of renowned chef Jeremiah Tower as executive chef of the New York landmark restaurant.

Tower began his culinary career at acclaimed Berkley restaurant Chez Panisse in 1972, and became a partner in the restaurant with Alice Waters. In 1984, Tower opened his own restaurant, Stars, in San Francisco. A number of now famous chefs, including Mario Batali, cooked at Stars, and it was among the top-grossing restaurants in the United States for close to a decade.

Among his many accolades, Tower won The James Beard Foundation's Award for "Chef of the Year" in 1996, and is the author of several cookbooks, including Jeremiah Tower’s New American Classic, which won the James Beard Foundation’s 1986 Award for Best Regional American Cookbook. The chef will slowly incorporate his culinary style into the current Tavern on the Green menu items, with a new menu debuting after the holiday season.

Jim Caiola and David Salama re-opened Tavern on the Green in April of 2014 to great public fanfare, but lackluster reviews from the critics, and former executive chef Katy Sparks left the restaurant in September. Caiola says “the search for a new executive chef was extensive, but when Jeremiah Tower came our way it seemed like destiny. Jeremiah is generally credited with developing the culinary style known as New American cuisine. Who better to take the culinary reins at the quintessential American restaurant Tavern on the Green?” Tower explains, “I’ve always loved that my restaurant Stars was compared to Tavern, so when I heard they were looking for a new chef I quickly contacted Jim and David. I am thrilled at the opportunity to get back to the stoves, especially at this beautiful restaurant.” 

Norman Van Aken, another renowned American cuisine pioneer, captured the excitement of this appointment when he declared, “If there is any chef who lives up to the storied past of Tavern on the Green in this day and age, it is undoubtedly Jeremiah Tower. Who, if not he, has the mystique, intelligence, cultural breadth, and historical astuteness to take on this endeavor and succeed? 

“I can think of no one that just might return TOG to the mythic place it still holds in the hearts of many New Yorkers and Americans at large [other than] this grand American chef!”

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Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant and City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.