Meet the Chef.
Chef Johnathan Levine
Chef Jonathan Levine was always the chef at home. Starting at a young age, he and his mother had an agreement when it came to dinner – one would cook, the other would clean. Like most 11-year-old boys, he loathed cleaning but he had an artistic side so cooking came natural. Chef Levine had free reign in the kitchen where he experimented with recipes and concoctions and, thus, his passion for food arose. Not only did he enjoy preparing meals for two, he also became the featured chef during family gatherings preparing massive Passover and Thanksgiving dinners for up to 15 people at a time – a childhood experience that would prepare him well for his future profession.
As a graduate of University of South Florida in Tampa with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Chef Levine initially pursued a career as a computer programmer. After one year, he realized it wasn't for him so he followed the words of Confucius, "Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
Chef Levine returned to school, this time at Johnson & Wales University in his hometown of Miami, Florida, where he gained extensive knowledge and training in the culinary arts. This degree positioned him for a successful career in the hospitality industry, which would include posts at: Park Avenue Café in New York City; The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Spa & Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Weston Hills Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and The Merchant Restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey; as well as a kosher private chef.
In 2006, Chef Levine was offered the opportunity of a lifetime to work under the direction of world-renowned and three-star Michelin chef, Guy Savoy, as he launched the American sister of the eponymous Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris. Chef Levine moved to Las Vegas to become the opening chef poissonnier of Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, which was named, "the best restaurant in Las Vegas and one of the finest anywhere," by Newsweek. It was a tremendous professional experience for Chef Levine who acquired a unique perspective and extensive knowledge of not only a restaurant opening, but the launch of one of the most refined culinary destinations under a world-renowned award-winning French chef. He eventually moved on within the Caesar's Palace family and became chef garde manger banquets prior to taking his first executive chef position at Silverstone Country Club in Las Vegas.
Most recently, he served as executive chef of The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas, the only luxury hotel and destination casino resort that received the Forbes Five-Star Award, AAA Five Diamond Award, and Michelin's top honor of Five Red Pavillions. Chef Levine was at the helm of a bustling kitchen producing 10,000 covers daily and was responsible for 16 live action cooking stations, each focusing on a different region from Chinese and Italian to Indian and New American. Under his leadership, The Buffet was declared, "Best Buffet in Las Vegas, 2010" by Las Vegas Review Journal. He also played a vital role in the conception of Encore Beach Club Grill at Encore at Wynn, blending an upscale restaurant, daytime beach party and chic nightclub, where he created the menu, and hired and trained cooks.
In 2011, Chef Levine returns to the East Coast joining Danfords Hotel & Marina, located in one of the most popular waterfront villages on Long Island. As executive chef, he spearheads all culinary efforts for the property including a new menu and "farm to table" concept at its signature restaurant, WAVE Seafood Kitchen, where he focuses on fresh local produce and regional seafood as the driving force. Newsday's Peter Gianotti rated the eatery "Excellent" or three stars and raved, "Levine makes WAVE" and his "cuisine makes you want to eat and eat again."