Jeremiah Tower was born in the United States, educated in Australia, England, France, and the U.S., and is recognized throughout the world as an authority on food and restaurant hospitality. He currently lives in Merida and Cozumel, Mexico.
In 1972, he began his culinary career as co-owner and executive chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. From 1978-1984, he ran the Balboa Café in Francisco, the Santa Fe Bar & Grill in Berkeley, and Ventana in Big Sur. After that, Jeremiah opened and owned many successful and highly acclaimed restaurants around the world: Stars, the Stars Café, and Speedo 690 in San Francisco; Stars in Seattle and Singapore; and The Peak Café in Hong Kong. Jeremiah sold the Stars restaurants to an Asian group in 1998.
Jeremiah has written many award winning books, starting in 1980 as assistant and co-author with Richard Olney some, several, many? of the Time Life Books’ thirty volumes of The Good Cook. In 1986, Harper Collins published the James Beard Foundation award winner Jeremiah Tower’s New American Classics. In 1995, he contributed to The Artist’s Table for the National Gallery of Art. In 2002, Jeremiah Tower Cooks, was published by Stewart Tabori & Chang, and received national press as well as “best cookbook of the year” from Australian Vogue Entertaining. In 2003, Simon & Schuster published California Dish, a book on the history of the American dining revolution; it was awarded Grubb Street’s 2014 [bd1] “Great Books: The Top 25 Must-Read Food Memoirs of All Time,” along with memoirs by Julia Child, A.J. Liebling, and M.F.K. Fisher. The book was reissued in 2017 by Ecco/Harper Collins under the title Start the Fire, How I Began a Food Revolution in America, to tie in with the Anthony Bourdain produced movie. In 2016, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published Table Manners: How to Behave in the Modern World and Why Bother.
In addition to the James Beard Foundation’s award for “Outstanding Chef in America” in 1996, Jeremiah was inducted into the 1991 Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame, and in 1993 was named Regional Best Chef California by the prestigious James Beard Foundation.
Recently, Tower was the guest speaker at the first graduation of The Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Austin, Texas; a guest judge for “Top Chef” in the U.S. and for Rich Stein’s BBC television show “Mexico.” In 2018 he is a speaker and presenter at the Financial Times “Weekend” at the Oxford University Literary Festival as a Patron of the Oxford Culinary Collective, a guest chef and speaker at The Lyford Cay Hearst Event Weekend with Alex Hitz, the Hawaii Wine and Food Festival, and in September in Sacramento as guest chef at the dinner dinner on the Tower bridge that is the culmination of the two weeks long event called Farm to Fork.
The Last Magnificent by the late Anthony Bourdain and Zero Point Zero productions, a film based on Tower’s life, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, to extensive critical acclaim. The 100-minute movie was released in 15 major theater markets and CNN premiered it nationally in November 2017.