Meet our Culinary Team at The Ben West Palm
Dining at The Ben is upscale and comfortably local, infused with inspiration, representing the social city center of West Palm and the time-honor spirit of sharing. For banquets or meeting breaks, work retreats or weddings, the options are endless.
Fun is at the heart of it – local leaders meet at our stylish signature restaurant Proper Grit for appetizers or entrees with a side of innovation; business travelers find comfortable corners to loosen up over crafted cocktails, and groups gather at the rooftop bar Spruzzo to plan the next day’s agenda over uniquely crafted cocktails, micro-brewed beers and a wide variety of award-winning wines and spirits.
Within The Ben's dining experiences, Executive Chef Jesse Pita brings nearly 20 years of industry experience in top culinary markets around the country.
After working in various capacities at restaurants throughout the Long Island region, Pita received his degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After obtaining his degree, Pita spent several years in Lahaina, Hawaii, first as sous chef at the Pacific’o, then at Merrimans, before receiving the title of Chef de Cuisine at The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort.
Pita returned to the continental US in 2019 to help open The Ben in downtown West Palm Beach as the hotel’s Chef de Cuisine. In just over a year of inventing and successfully executing everything from Mediterranean small plates to American gastropub dishes at The Ben’s two very different and distinct culinary concepts, Spruzzo and Proper Grit, Pita was promoted to executive chef.
After spending so much time in kitchens throughout Hawaii, Pita brings what he calls a sense of “Aloha” to The Ben’s culinary team, creating a laid back, positive vibe that keeps his staff productive, energized and motivated to execute the highest-quality dishes for guests every day. Pita’s exceptional ability to source the best available produce- a skill highly utilized in creating dishes at The Ben- comes from his love for preparing the foods of his Southern Italian roots. Pita also exhibits his great appreciation for bold flavors throughout his dishes- an affection that stems from his enjoyment of the foods prepared by his Mexican wife and during his travels throughout Mexico. The cuisines from these regions are based on, “humble foods- off-cuts and basic ingredients- brought together to create something magical and memorable.” His desire to turn fresh, simple ingredients into something that excites the palate is evident in every dish he creates for The Ben’s dining program.