CHEF / Benchmarc restaurants by marc murphy

A Washington Heights native, Chef James “Mac” Moran got his start just steps away from where he was born, at Washington Heights’ legendary Frank’s Market, then just a small custom butcher shop. This early occupation instilled in him a deep appreciation for fresh, local ingredients—a philosophy that resonates throughout his seasonal New American cuisine today.

Upon graduating New York’s Institute of Culinary Education, Moran worked alongside acclaimed Chef David Watluck at one of New York City’s most influential fine-dining restaurants, Chanterelle. In 2002, Chef Mac joined the line at Chef Todd English’s Flatiron outpost, Olives, thus launching his decade-long tenure with Todd English Enterprises, where he earned added recognition executing successful events for high-profile clients such as Victoria’s Secret, John Legend and Vera Wang. His eye for presentation also earned him the role of head food stylist of Chef Todd English’s cookbook, Cooking in Everyday English. In 2008, Chef Mac was named Executive Sous Chef at The Libertine; two years later, he returned to Olives as Executive Chef de Cuisine.  He then went back to his old neighborhood to open Rusty Mackerel where he created seasonal New American cuisine with a highly curated twist. Today, Moran serves as Marc's right hand man in the kitchen, ensuring all of our culinary standards and execution is in line with the Benchmarc vision. He has been on location at Grey Salt to get the restaurant up and running.