ARIA - Jean Georges Steakhouse - Executive Chef Sean Griffin Biography
Jean Georges Steakhouse
Sean Griffin launched his accomplished culinary career with the simple task of peeling potatoes. Born into a “restaurant family” in California with a classically trained French chef for a father, Griffin was exposed to the foundations of cooking and proper techniques.
“I began my journey working in one of my father’s three restaurants, Griffin’s Restaurant, where I started as a potato peeler and dish washer,” Griffin said. “I worked my way through all aspects of a fine dining restaurant, from back to front of house, and eventually I ran the kitchen.”
At 21 years old, an age when many young people are preoccupied with higher education, Griffin was forced to step up to the culinary plate and run the family restaurants upon his father’s passing. Griffin, however, had his eye on more.
In 1996, when he decided it was time to step away from the family business, Griffin accepted a lower level cook position at the Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside, Calif. Willing to start at the bottom in order to make it to the top, Griffin worked his way through every kitchen station, even coming in on days off to perfect his skills. After a year of hard work, Chef Gary Palm recognized the young cook’s drive and promoted him to chef of the AAA Four Diamond Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood at Mission Inn Hotel. As inaugural chef, Griffin led the kitchen to become the area’s premier steakhouse.
The next step in his blossoming culinary career came in 1999 after assuming the role of Chef de Cuisine at the world-famous Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Under his direction, the hotel’s AAA Five Diamond restaurant was named one of the top 40 restaurants in the U.S. by Gayot and earned the Southern California Restaurant Writer’s award for “Best Contemporary Restaurant.” During his tenure, he also had the opportunity to work with some of the best chefs in the world including Rick Tromonto, Charlie Trotter and Thomas Keller.
In 2003, Griffin first emerged on the Las Vegas culinary scene as Chef de Cuisine for Nero’s Restaurant at Caesars Palace, where he made a name for himself preparing whimsical, yet accessible dishes. His stand-out style earned him a Rising Star Award in 2005 from StarChefs.com, solidifying his reputation as an up-and-coming, innovative professional. In 2007, Griffin traveled east across the Grand Canyon to the kitchen of Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he served as Executive Chef.
Griffin returned to Las Vegas and took a position as the executive chef at Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio Resort & Casino. Here he flourished preparing prime meats, seafood and lamb for guests that dined overlooking the iconic Fountains of Bellagio.
In his current role as Executive Chef for Jean Georges Steakhouse at ARIA, Chef Griffin maintains the modern approach to the traditional American steakhouse established by founding chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.