Kent Monkan was born and raised in Huntington, NY. His inspiration for cooking came at an early age, through watching his Sicilian grandfather, Tony, cook for the family gatherings. His grandfather's traditional Italian cooking interested Kent, and led him to watch cooking shows after school and read his mother’s cookbooks. Developing a love for food, he began experimenting with cooking in middle school.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in 1996, Kent eventually landed a coveted spot at one of Long Island’s top restaurants, Panama Hatties. Throughout his nine years there, he worked his way up to Chef de Cuisine.
Realizing his long-standing dream was to have his own restaurant, "Heirloom" was opened in 2005 in Locust Valley, NY. After a couple of turbulent years, he sold it and went to work as a private chef. But, as fate would have it, Heirloom ended up back in the hands of Kent and was renamed The Brass Rail in 2008. With a restyled menu that ranged from comfort foods to more exotic and at a better price point, The Brass Rail quickly became a neighborhood hit.
Seizing an opportunity to expand to a new neighborhood, Kent opened his second restaurant in Glen Head, NY in 2013. Lovingly called Heirloom Tavern, it has the same successful element of great food at a great price, with a completely different menu.