Chef Bill Telepan
One of New York’s first and most acclaimed devotees of Greenmarket cooking, Bill Telepan is committed to showcasing the season’s bounty through his cuisine. Bill insists on understanding where his ingredients come from, how they’ve been cared for and using the best of what is available—a thoughtfulness that’s reflected in the vibrant dishes he creates at his namesake restaurant. Bill’s style of cooking stems from his childhood in New Jersey, where his family shared hearty meals made with vegetables from their garden. His mother took pride in serving bold dishes influenced by her Hungarian heritage, and her passion resonated with Bill. He began working at local restaurants before enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America.
After graduating in 1987, Bill accepted a job at one of Manhattan’s top restaurants, Gotham Bar and Grill. As a line cook working under Alfred Portale, Bill learned the importance of treating vegetables with care and precision to enhance their natural beauty and flavor. Bill’s career came full circle in 1991, when he signed on as executive chef of Gotham Bar and Grill with Alfred Portale. During his four years there, Bill prepared refined dishes using ingredients from nearby Union Square Greekmarket. Seeking a change, he became executive chef of Ansonia on the Upper West Side, where he developed his own menu and further refined his craft.
With the desire to make his cuisine accessible to the home cook, Telepan penned the cookbook Inspired by Ingredients (Simon & Schuster), published in 2004. The following year, he opened Telepan restaurant on the Upper West Side. The restaurant allows Bill to showcase his simple and balanced approach to cooking and has attracted a loyal following and accolades including a glowing two-star review from The New York Times and the title of “Best Newcomer” in the 2007 Zagat survey.
When not at the restaurant, Bill most enjoys spending time with his wife, Beverly, and daughter, Leah. Since 2008, he has been the Executive Chef of Wellness in the Schools where he works with WITS in Residence Cooks to make school food healthier and more delicious. As the first chef involved with WITS, Bill has spearheaded its goals by developing nutritious school menus, training cafeteria workers and teaching culinary and nutrition concepts to students, parents and teachers. Bill's daughter Leah, a student at PS-87, inspired him to join WITS and makes healthy school food a cause that he holds close to his heart.
Follow Bill @billtelepan