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Ben Smith

Memphis, TN

Voted “Restaurateur of the Year” in 2010 by Memphis Restaurant Association, Ben Smith is the owner and executive chef of the award-winning restaurant Tsunami. Born and raised in Memphis, Ben is well known for an innovative culinary style influenced by his extensive travels in the Pacific Rim. 

Ben graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has cooked in San Francisco, Tahiti, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii.

Ben opened Tsunami in 1998. Tsunami was voted Best New Restaurant in 1998 and has been included in the Best Seafood category in Memphis Magazine and Memphis Flyer reader polls every year since its inception, with other categories of recognition including Best Restaurant, Best Chef, and Most Creative Menu. Ben is the author of the Tsunami Cookbook and served as a full-time Chef Instructor at L’Ecole Culinaire from 2010 to 2012.

Chef Ben Smith is a great supporter of the importance of seafood nutrition. Ben was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. His love of seafood and the concept for his Tsunami Restaurant came from time in Australia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and San Francisco, California.

His time at the Lodge at Koele in Lanai opened his eyes to the vast bounty of the Pacific Region, where he was exposed to a greater variety of seafood than ever before. It was in Hawaii where he first began to form his concept for Tsunami Restaurant. Tsunami has been voted Best New Restaurant, Best Seafood, and Most Creative Menu by Memphis magazine. He resides in Memphis, TN with his wife and three kids.