Keyvan Behnam’s journey to America took him to the far reaches of the world. Born in Tehran, he traveled throughout England, Greece, France and Italy before finally settling in the United States. His apprenticeship in the culinary world has been almost as varied, as he began his adventures as a dishwasher working his way up through the industry in a family-owned restaurant while going to school to become an accountant/lawyer.
Something about the restaurant world began to pique his senses as he found himself creating recipes from whatever ingredients were available to him at the time. While his training was based more in the French tradition, Asian ingredients began having a strong appeal to him. He found himself abandoning phyllo doughs for spring roll skins and combining European and Asian ingredients in his creations.
Upon his arrival in America, Behnam went to work in South Florida for Prezzo’s (then Mark’s Place) where he was a sous chef and later general manager, and then moved on to Mark’s in the Grove as chef de cuisine. After that, China Grill Management offered him a chance to expand his culinary skills while globe trotting around their culinary world--much like Marco Polo!
First stop was Tuscan Steak in Miami as executive sous chef, and then on to the openings of China Grill Cafés in Aventura and Fort Lauderdale. Next stop was Asia de Cuba at Mondrian in Los Angeles, and then on to subsequent locations in London, New York and San Francisco as part of the opening task force. Behnam soon after found himself in London for the opening of Spoon at Sanderson, then back to Miami for the opening of Suva and then up to New York for the opening of the new Tuscan Steak. After that, Chef Behnam opened Red Square, rumjungle and Red, White & Blue in Las Vegas before returning to Miami where he currently works as executive chef at Biscayne Tavern.
Behnam lives in Miami with his wife and two young children.
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