Chef Kerry Heffernan

Our special guest is award-winning chef, seafood sustainability expert, and TV personality Ceslie Armstrong asks Kerry Heffernan about the state of our oceans; tips for buying seafood; how he explains the environment to his sons; and, the sudden whale watching experience while fishing recently with his friend Tom Colicchio. Kerry Heffernan’s career has included restaurants like Montrachet, Le Régence, Restaurant Bouley and Mondrian with Tom Colicchio before landing his first job as Chef de Cuisine at One Fifth Avenue.


Heffernan later became the Executive Chef of the Westbury Hotel’s famed Polo Restaurant, training ground of such extraordinary talents as Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud. Soon afterward Kerry opened Union Square Hospitality Group’s Eleven Madison Park as Executive Chef and eventually became partner. Under his leadership, the restaurant received numerous accolades, including a tie with Per Se on Zagat Survey’s “Top 20 Most Popular Restaurants in New York,” The James Beard Foundation’s Award for Outstanding Service in America, and Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant.” During his time at 11 Madison he also worked with Danny to develop the original menu at the “Shake Shack” in Madison Square Park.

Kerry is currently Chef at Grand Banks, a seasonal Oyster Bar and galley on the deck of a historic cod fishing schooner moored at Pier 25 New York. He previously spent a five-year tenure as Executive Chef of New York City’s South Gate, and created and continues to work as a consultant to “15 CPW,” a private restaurant at Manhattan’s toniest address. Kerry remains active outside the kitchen in philanthropy, serving on the City Harvest Food Council and cooking for Share Our Strength, Project by Project, and both the Central Park and Madison Square Park Conservancies and as an advisor to several nonprofit agencies charged with seafood sustainability and conservation. In 2012, Kerry was honored as the commencement speaker at the Culinary Institute of America.

Published: November 19, 2019