2017 Chefs

Jeff Tunks

TenPenh

McLean, VA

Featured: Saturday, May 13 Grand Tasting

Chef Jeff Tunks is one of the best and brightest in the ever-growing constellation of great American chefs. There are few who possess as much confidence, extended experience, business acumen, and as deep a passion for simply prepared seasonal foods. Underneath a six-foot-three exterior in chef whites is a man with the soul of an artist, the passion of a perfectionist, and an unquestionable devotion to running a top-notch kitchen.

Like many in his field, Tunks attended the Culinary Institute of America; unlike many, however, Tunks received the prestigious Frances L. Roth Award for outstanding performance. From there, he served an externship under Dean Ferring at the Veranda Club in Atlanta, transferring with him to the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, where Tunks worked at Mistral, a sister restaurant on the complex.  There he met his mentor, the classically French-trained chef Takashi Shirmaizu. It was under Shirmaizu’s tutelage that Tunks was introduced to the idea that at the foundation of every great dish must be superior ingredients and solid cooking techniques.

Tunks first landed in the nation’s capital in 1987, having been recruited as opening executive chef at the popular River Club Restaurant in Georgetown. Tunks knows how to build a team to his best advantage.  Over the years, his vision and good sense has created a diverse group of chefs who have helped him forge ahead with his dream projects. Most recently, Tunks re-opened a new version of the pan-asian classic TenPenh as TenPenh Tysons in Tysons Corner, Virginia.