In 1978, Jeffrey Buben graduated from the Culinary Institute and went to work in New York City restaurants Sign of the Dove, Le Cygne, Le Chantilly, and the Hotel Pierre. He then went down to Washington DC in 1984, to work in the restaurant Aux Beau Champs, in the Four Seasons Hotel, and the Nicholas in the Mayflower Hotel before settling down as the Executive Chef of the Occidental Restaurant & Grill in DC.
Six years later, Chef Buben, along with his wife Sally (formerly of Great Chef Mark Miller’s Red Sage in DC), opened Vidalia in 1993, featuring regional American cooking with southern hospitality.
Great Chefs caught up with him shortly thereafter in the spring of 1993 to tape him preparing a Roasted Capon Breast with Sweet Potato Fries for their Great Chefs of the East series (Episode # 2). The following year, Great Chefs returned to film Chef Jeffrey for their Great Chefs-Great Cities series for the Discovery Channel. This time he prepared his signature appetizer Baked Vidalia Onion with Chive Blossom Vinaigrette (episode # 12), and his classic Lemon Chess Pie (episode # 18).
Chef Jeffrey Buben was awarded Chef of the Year in DC by the Restaurant Association, and in 1999 was awarded Best Chef Mid-Atlantic by the James Beard Foundation. In the fall of 1998, he opened his second restaurant, Bistro Bis, located at the Hotel George on Capitol Hill. With its numerous awards, Bis continues to be the place “Where Capitol Hill Dines”.
Jeffrey still contributes to organizations dedicated to hunger relief, AIDS, and homelessness, such as Share our Strength, Chefs Alliance, Food & Friends, and Christmas for the Homeless.