Chef Jonathon Sawyer, a Cleveland native, first learned to cook at the age of 13. He attended the University of Dayton and graduated from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. His post-graduate career started at The Biltmore Hotel in Miami and continued alongside renowned chef Charlie Palmer in New York at Kitchen 22.
Following his work with Charlie Palmer, Johnathon moved back to his hometown to open Lolita as Chef de Cuisine for his friend and colleague, Michael Symon. This relationship fostered many new opportunities for Jonathon and eventually led him back to New York City to open another Michael Symon venture, Parea. While serving as Parea’s Executive Chef, the restaurant received a two-star review from The New York Times and a five-star review from Time Out: New York.
In 2007, Jonathon moved back to his hometown to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant. This dream was realized in the opening of Bar Cento, a modern Roman enoteca in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. During his tenure as Chef and Partner, Bar Cento received many accolades (Northern Ohio Live's Best New Restaurant) and also brought Jonathon much personal attention as well, including the Rising Star Chef award from both Restaurant Hospitality and GAYOT. In April of 2009, Jonathon opened The Greenhouse Tavern on Cleveland’s East 4th Street -- a French and seasonally inspired gastropub and Ohio’s first “green” restaurant, as certified by the Green Restaurant Association.
The Greenhouse Tavern was recently named one of the Top Ten Best New Restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit as well as Best New Restaurant by Cleveland Magazine. The restaurant also claimed 2nd-place at New York City’s Burger Bash 2010. Last year, Jonathon was honored as one of Food & Wine Magazines’ Best New Chefs. He has made several national television appearances on programs such as Dinner Impossible, Iron Chef America and Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Following the success of The Greenhouse Tavern, Chef Sawyer decided it was time to open another restaurant. He looked in his hometown of Cleveland and decided to fill a void of one of his favorite foods. While living in New York as a young chef, Sawyer found himself drawn to the simplicity and steadfastness of ramen. Noodlecat was born. In July 2011 Chef Sawyer opened his second certified green restaurant, Noodlecat. Noodlecat is an American Japanese mashup focusing on local ingredients, sustainability, and the best ramen Cleveland has ever seen.
Sawyer is also behind the first pop up restaurant group in Cleveland, Brick & Mortar Popups. Chef Sawyer put on his first pop up restaurant alongside Top Chef alum, Lee Anne Wong. Chef Wong and Chef Sawyer introduced the city of Cleveland to Easy Japaneasy for three nights in June of 2011 to amazing reviews.
When outside the kitchen, Jonathon enjoys walking his two dogs, spending time with his wife, Amelia, and foraging with his two children, Catcher and Louisiana. His local culinary involvement includes participation in organizations such as Slow Foods, The Countryside Conservancy, The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association, and the Green Building Coalition. Jonathon is a tireless supporter of the green movement, local agriculture, and sustainable businesses both in Northeast Ohio and around the country.