Restaurant Chef Ian Bens BIO
Chef Ian Bens is no stranger to a kitchen. Born and raised in Canada, at the age of 16, he began crafting pizza and cooking wings in a kitchen in downtown Calgary, Alberta.
After completing two years of culinary school at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, Bens moved to Banff, Alberta where he entered into a two-year apprenticeship at Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies,” the iconic Canadian landmark luxury mountain resort Banff Springs. He earned his gourmet stripes working his way through the various kitchens of the resort as Chef de Partie.
Battle-tested in the kitchens of Banff Springs, Bens relocated to British Columbia and rose through the ranks into management for Dunsmuir Lodge and Sooke Harbour House. Located seaside on the tip of Vancouver Island, the award-winning Sooke Harbour House carries out its culinary operation with a focus on local, natural, and sustainable food processes with a daily menu. Bens harvested the 3-acre rare herb and edible blossom garden and ocean for shellfish, seaweed, herbs, and flowers each morning for the nightly menu in addition to preparing fresh caught and handpicked items as they arrived throughout the day such as mushrooms, meat, and fish.
In 2000, Bens was awarded a Sous Chef position alongside renowned Canadian-born Executive Chef Daniel Buss, and tasked with opening the Fairmont Banffshire Club Restaurant in Alberta. With high-end luxury cuisine such as live king crab, sea urchin, foie gras, a plethora of truffles along with game such as elk, caribou, deer, and wild boar, this dynamic duo brought AAA 5 Diamond and Mobile 4 star ratings within two years of opening. With a focus in creating outstanding harmonies of food and wine, Bens was also immersed in wine and wine pairing while at Banffshire, taking the Wine & Spirit Education Trust courses, and gaining his certification in the International Sommelier Guild program.
In 2007, Bens traveled to New York City to lend his culinary talent in the re-opening of The Plaza Hotel when acquired by Fairmont. Shortly thereafter, in 2008, Bens was offered a position as Executive Sous chef at The Fairmont Georgetown in Washington DC. During this jaunt in his culinary career, Bens and his Pastry Chef became acquainted with a Beekeeper, which resulted in the launch of a rooftop beekeeping program where they built and kept four hives on the 10th story rooftop. They harvested honey, pollen and other hive products each year; making desserts, bread, lip balm, soap and other items for menus and amenities.
In 2014, Bens headed to the West Coast with Fairmont as the Executive Sous Chef for The Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, CA. With The Claremont, Chef Bens was involved in the overhaul of the banquet cuisine and in-room dining menu; as well as, re-branding the overall culinary concepts and the opening of four in-house restaurants.
Obtaining his permanent residency in 2016, Chef Bens moved to the Central Valley of California joining the Wine & Roses culinary team as the Sous Chef in Towne House Restaurant in Lodi, CA. Now, Chef Bens is the Restaurant Chef at Rosewood Bar & Grill, Wine & Roses’ sister restaurant, in downtown Lodi, CA.
With Chef Bens the helm of the kitchen, Rosewood’s gastronomical menu is a gourmet experience worth indulging in; making for an exploration of the season and region. Because of Chef Bens’ meticulous commitment to fresh food philosophy, Rosewood’s menu is constantly evolving and changing. Every day is an adventure in various flavors and aromas, with passion and care cultivated in each menu item.