Eben Leonard's cosmopolitan palette and culinary innovation were inspired through the many hours he spent in the kitchen as a young boy witnessing the joy and care his parents put into baking with freshest ingredients and an appreciation for the age-old traditions of scratch cooking.
Eben attended the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont where he graduated in 2001. While in school, he had the opportunity to work at Washington, DC's 701 restaurant, under Chef J. Trent Conry.
Upon graduation, Eben interned at Patricia Yeo's restaurant, AZ, where he became enchanted with the culinary culture of New York City. Eben's next stop was Olives in New York, where he served as a line cook. Under the direction of celebrity chef Todd English, Eben eventually became involved in opening and training the staff of eight of Todd's restaurants, including The Todd English Restaurant on the Queen Elizabeth and the Latin Steakhouse Beso, which Todd opened in LA with actress Eva Longoria.
Eben has worked at a number of prestigious events, including the James Beard awards, the American Wine and Food Festival in LA, and at the James Beard House with Chef Michael Crain. He's appeared alongside Todd on Live with Regis and Kelly, Cooking Under Fire, The Today Show, Bobby Flay's Food Nation and HSN. At the age of 26, he became the Executive Chef of Bonfire Restaurant in Boston and was the opening chef of The Libertine in New York City.
As Executive Chef at Scena, Eben was eager to create a novel twist on the classic Italian menu. It's because of this that Scena opened to rave reviews in the fall of 2010 and quickly became a favorite of Darien's most discerning restaurant-goers. Patricia Brooks from the New York Times summed up her dining experience as "seductive perfection" and commented that the "pasta dishes, made from scratch, are Scena's pride and joy." Linda Kavanagh from the Darien Patch says of Scena: "Leonard has injected his own style into the new menu, bringing a broad array of flavors, seasonal ingredients, and great attention to quality."
With a seasonally progressing menu, Eben will continue to innovate and thrill the patrons of Scena.