Executive Chef John Greeley is young, passionate and artistic – and he’s putting all of these talents to use as he leads New York City’s most iconic restaurant.
John Greeley’s culinary interest began when he was a teenager growing up in New Jersey, where he could often be found in the family kitchen experimenting with meals. Throughout his teens, John spent summers cooking in Nantucket and Rhode Island and credits this time by the ocean for his love of surf, seafood and fishing.
His passion and talent for the Fine Arts led John to New York City’s School of Visual Arts where he spent two years. After transferring to the Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA), John made Dean’s List and received his B.F.A. in 1995. During that time, John worked as a sous chef at Gerry Klaskala’s start up restaurant in Savannah’s historic district, 45 South. There, he quickly learned the in’s and out’s of Southern gastronomy – especially the then emerging Low Country Cuisine.
After graduation, John was torn between a career in Fine Art or in the culinary field – but soon after he began working at ’21,’ under then-Chef Michael Lomonaco, John found his answer: the energy of a New York kitchen was a perfect fit.
John was quickly promoted to sous chef and some years later was named opening chef de cuisine of Upstairs at ‘21’, an intimate dining room one flight above the famous Bar Room. Never resting on his laurels, over the years John has done a number of stages for top restaurants in New York City including the 3 Michelin star Per Se. John has also continued to pursue numerous culinary adventures abroad, including his time presiding over a cooking school at the luxurious Villa San Michele in Tuscany.
In 2007, John became top toque at ’21.’ As Executive Chef, John directs an exceptional team of sous chefs and banquets, pastry and line cooks. Under John’s leadership, the ‘21’ staff prepares lunch and dinner for guests in two restaurants and all ten private dining rooms – up to 650 people at one time.
When he’s not in the ‘21’ kitchen, John can usually be found in his art studio painting, out in the garden or making skateboards. John resides with his lovely wife Amy Dickerson, daughter Summer Grace, and son Hudson in Chatham, NJ.