Califonia Bountiful

Lean and green

July/August 2017 California Bountiful magazine

SoCal chef fuels active lifestyles—including his—with fresh cuisine

Chef Jonathan Rollo says "summer is always the season of Greenleaf: fresh, clean, really bright flavors." Photo: © 2017 Lori Fusaro

Most culinary professionals in similar positions go by the title of chef/owner. Jonathan Rollo calls himself commander-in-leaf.

"It's so fun. It makes everyone laugh," said Rollo, who's at the helm of seven Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop restaurants, a catering business and a commissary that together employ nearly 400 people. His title is a nod to the distinct but complementary skills that have powered his success.

The Pasadena native opened his first Greenleaf—a pioneer in healthy, fast-casual dining with a gourmet spin—in Beverly Hills in 2007 and looks to open his 10th by year's end. Future expansion plans include additional Southern California regions and beyond.

Extending his brand to the masses is, in a way, an homage to Rollo's mother.

"Her excitement and enthusiasm for putting healthy, fresh food on the table made my siblings and me appreciate being in the kitchen," he said.

Rollo's menus reflect that—and embody his commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

"That is something I prioritize," he said. "I love taking boot camp classes, and I love racing in triathlons. I try to eat cleanly while still enjoying the occasional indulgence."

Barbara Arciero


Chicken tinga tacos

Grilled salmon with berry salsa

Grilled peach salad with peach balsamic vinaigrette

Eat slow bowl

Blueberry thrill

Bee's knees

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