Eamon Rockey grew up in the small town of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the son of two professional chefs. Eamon’s parents encouraged him to get into the kitchen at a young age, and at 14 he started working after school at Sakura, at the time Hattiesburg’s only sushi restaurant.
In 2003, Eamon enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He anticipated graduating as a cook, but a wine course sparked his interest in the service side of the industry and his career goals shifted to that area. Upon graduation, Eamon moved to New York City to gain fine dining experience, and was hired at Gilt, a Michelin-starred New American restaurant.
A desire to further develop his fine dining experience led Eamon to look into new job opportunities, and in 2007, he joined the service team at Eleven Madison Park. During his time at the restaurant, he learned a tremendous amount about wine service and was quickly promoted to bartender and captain. Eamon credits General Manager Will Guidara for instilling in him a dedication to uncompromising quality.
After three years at Eleven Madison Park, Eamon was approached to open a new restaurant in TriBeCa. After much consideration, he left Eleven Madison Park to open Compose in late 2010. As general manager at Compose, Eamon created the service and beverage programs and hired and trained the staff. After a brief closing, the restaurant re-opened as Atera in spring 2012, with chef Matthew Lightner at the kitchen’s helm. The restaurant received rave reviews and went on to earn two Michelin stars.
Later that year, Eamon dined at Frej, chef Fredrik Berselius’ Scandinavian pop-up restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and was immediately drawn to Fredrik’s culinary perspective. After approaching Fredrik and establishing a friendship, the two planned the opening of the Scandinavian restaurant Aska, which debuted in the former Frej space. At Aska, Eamon managed the front-of-house and oversaw the beverage program, which included cocktails that employed a variety of progressive techniques and preparations including clarified milk punch and house-made oleo saccharums.
In late spring 2013, Eamon reunited with his former Eleven Madison Park colleague, chef Bryce Shuman to open Betony, a Modern American restaurant in Midtown. At Betony, Eamon oversees all aspects of the service program and is a constant presence on the floor greeting guests. Since opening, Betony has been the recipient of great critical acclaim, garnering three stars in The New York Times and Esquire’s “Restaurant of the Year” for 2013.
When not at Betony, Eamon enjoys cooking, collecting food and beverage-related books, exploring new restaurants, as well as biking and the performing arts.