John Varanese

John Varanese, @dinevaranese


John Varanese obtained his BA in Food Service Management and AS in Culinary arts from Johnson and Wales University in South Carolina. During his enrollment there, Varanese was Kitchen Manager for Magnolias, a landmark in Southern cuisine, for three years. Varanese set himself apart from other chefs quickly after displaying his accomplished understanding of business finance. While working in Magnolias, he revealed his great ability to control costs while producing very high quality cuisine using only the freshest local ingredients.

In 1998 Chef Varanese took the position of Executive Chef at Azalea in Louisville, Kentucky. There, he developed his management style, personality and culinary flair. After 3 years at Azalea, Chef Varanese left and spent 4 years as the Executive Chef at the Cardinal Club during the planning stages for his own restaurant. He resigned to focus on opening Varanese in August 2007.

Varanese is known for his culinary creativity as well as his dedication to local farmers who provide the freshest local products as showcased in many of his signature dishes. He is star and co-producer of his own television show, “Big World of Food” which educates viewers on the importance of local farms’ to the food on their tables. More at

Chef Varanese has won numerous awards and has represented the State of Kentucky’s Dept of Aquaculture three years in a row at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans. He was also invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York in 2012. Recently Chef Varanese was honored as one of the country’s top culinary talents in the premier edition of Best Chefs America and named “Restaurateur of the Year” for 2013 by the Kentucky Restaurant Association.

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