Jon Warner brings his Hoosier roots and diverse culinary experience to the table as our new Executive Chef at Traders Point Creamery. Having worked in restaurants across the country, from Chicago to Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Chef Warner is well versed in creating appealing, accessible dishes that showcase local flavors and ingredients.
He found cooking in his late teens with a string of restaurant jobs that quickly led to discovering a passion for creating things that people enjoy eating. Intent on making a career out of that passion, he pursued training at The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. During his time in the Windy City he worked in kitchens at The James Hotel, Elate at Hotel Felix, and Local Root, where he experienced an organic, farm-to-table restaurant setting for the first time. He learned there to love working closely with local farmers and what they produce.
Wanderlust eventually took him out west – to Cut, a world-class Wolfgang Puck steakhouse in Las Vegas, and then to The Tasting Kitchen on Abott Kinney in Venice Beach, which he praises as the job most influential to his cooking. By working with ingredients sourced fresh daily from the Santa Monica farmers market, he imbibed a passion for showcasing seasonal produce, which continues today in dishes on our menus like squash mezzaluna, fried green tomatoes, chicken with herb gnocchi, and shaved beet salad with fromage blanc.
But roots run deep, and chef Warner eventually came back home to Indiana. He comes to our kitchen at Traders Point Creamery from an Executive Sous Chef role at HedgeRow Bistro in downtown Indianapolis. In his new role as Executive Chef of our farmstead restaurant, he feels right at home after a childhood of frequent visits to his grandparents’ farm in Lewis, Indiana. “Some of my favorite food memories,” he says, “are of our big family meals on the farm and of helping my grandmother in the garden.”
Chef works closely with our gardener, farmers, and dairy artisans to cook with ingredients raised and crafted on-site. Other local foods from sustainable Indiana farmers help anchor his seasonal menus for Lunch, Dinner, and Sunday Brunch. His talent and passion for this farm-to-table culinary experience are a strong match for what he considers “one of the most exciting chef jobs in Indianapolis.”