In 1998, Jeff Benjamin joined Marc Vetri as General Manager and then, two years later, as partner at the small, intimate Vetri restaurant in Philadelphia. In those two years, Jeff’s impeccable standards of quality and service helped to transform Vetri into what the Philadelphia Inquirer calls “a sublime dining experience.” Jeff and his small team of efficient servers now orchestrate outstanding meals with an individual consideration that would be impossible in larger restaurants. Jeff has also expanded Vetri’s wine cellar from a 60-bottle starter list to its current stable of more than 500 labels and 5,000 bottles.
Jeff has worked to expand the Vetri experience into a larger concept with the 2006 opening of Osteria, in 2010 with Amis, and with the forthcoming gastropub. Even with the growth of the company, Jeff remains an active partner in front of house operations and on the floor, ensuring the signature Vetri experience is upheld.
Jeff’s thorough attention to detail demands all service standards are met and remain intact. He is fully committed to keeping the essence of the fine-dining experience, and that his individual consideration and high standards always met beyond expectation.
Over the years, Jeff has been dedicated to numerous philanthropic causes. He is committed to nonprofit organizations such as Little Smiles, Achieve-Ability, and serving on the Board of Trustees for the Community Partnership School.
In 2005, Jeff, along with business partner Marc Vetri, were so inspired after meeting Liz and Jay Scott, parents and founders of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF,) that they created The Great Chef’s Event to benefit ALSF. Chefs around the country rallied behind them producing a fundraising event that featured wonderful food along with raising awareness for childhood cancers. Jeff is also the current Board Secretary of ALSF.
Wanting to do more, Jeff and Marc created the Vetri Foundation For Children in July 2008. In addition to continuing the support of the other worthwhile charities, the Foundation focuses on the childhood obesity crisis and promoting healthy eating and lifestyle choices, and having an impact on their overall health and wellness.
In the summer of 2010, the first effort in support of this mission was transforming the dining experience at ESF Dream Camp, a five-week day program for at-risk children in Philadelphia. The children were introduced to variety of foods that were visually appealing and nutritionally sound. Special emphasis was placed on social interaction and communication, which was done by conducting all meals in an interactive family style manner. With the success of this program, plans are currently underway to implement similar programs in local schools.