In the kitchen with Ben deForest

Chef Ben deForest is cooking up new dishes as well as old favorites, such as the Reliable Burger, at Zephrus. — File photo by Sarah Omer

With a resumé under his belt that includes personal chef for actor Bruce Willis, owner of well-loved Vineyard restaurants Red Cat and Balance, and current chef at Zephrus, Benjamin deForest is a familiar face in the restaurant scene here and abroad. The Times asked him, and other restaurant chefs who will appear in future editions, a few questions to get to know them better.

Erin: What’s your favorite ingredient right now?

Benjamin: Lamb shanks. Braised food is really hearty and perfect to settle into winter with.

What is your most memorable meal?

The steak tartare at Hotel le Bristol in Paris. It’s unbelievable.

Kitchen tool you can’t live/cook without?

Sauce spoons. I have about 150 to 160 that I’ve been collecting for the past 22 years.

Where in the world would you most like to travel, in the name of food?


What’s for dinner when you have less than 15 minutes to make it?

Grilled cheese with ham and tomato or a BLT.