JONATHON SAWYER
JONATHON SAWYER

Jonathon Sawyer

He grows herbs on his downtown restaurant's rooftop. He rides his bike to work. He composts and recycles kitchen and dining room scraps up the wazoo. He's Jonathan Sawyer, Cleveland's greenest of green chefs.

He grows herbs on his downtown restaurant's rooftop. He rides his bike to work. He composts and recycles kitchen and dining room scraps up the wazoo. He's Jonathon Sawyer, Cleveland's greenest of green chefs.

Chef Sawyer's first restaurant, The Greenhouse Tavern on E. 4th St., was also the first LEED-certified restaurant in Ohio.

Produce, protein and grains come from nearby, as does vinegar bottled in the basement of his century home.

Sawyer also wields his eco wand at Noodlecat (Japanese noodle house) along Euclid Ave., Trentina (upscale northern Italian) in University Circle, Sawyer's Street Frites and Sausage and Peppers at FirstEnergy Stadium, and SeeSaw Pretzel Shoppe inside Quicken Loans Arena.

After graduating from Strongsville High School in suburban Cleveland, Sawyer headed for the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh. He worked at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami, Charlie Palmer's Kitchen 22 in New York, and Lolita in Tremont under Chef Michael Symon before partnering in Ohio City's popular Bar Cento.

When he opened The Greenhouse Tavern in 2009, friends in bigger cities thought he was crazy. But Sawyer banked on Cleveland. Plus, his mom was here. (Ma Sawyer cooks for the entire staff every Saturday.)

No surprise to us, the risk paid off. In 2015, Sawyer earned the high honor of “Best Chef: Great Lakes” by the James Beard Foundation. Other accolades include earning a spot as a “Best New Chef” for Food & Wine and a “Best New Restaurant” for the Greenhouse Tavern in Bon Appetit.

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