Kerry later became the Executive Chef of the Westbury Hotel's famed Polo Restaurant, training ground of such extraordinary talents as Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud. Soon afterward Kerry opened Union Square Hospitality Group's Eleven Madison Park as Executive Chef and eventually became partner. Under his leadership, the restaurant received numerous accolades, including a tie with Per Se on Zagat Survey's "Top 20 Most Popular Restaurants in New York," The James Beard Foundation's Award for Outstanding Service in America, and Esquire Magazine's "Best New Restaurant." During his time at 11 Madison he also worked with Danny to develop the original menu at the "Shake Shack" in Madison Square Park.
Kerry is currently Chef at Grand Banks, a seasonal Oyster Bar and galley on the deck of a historic cod fishing schooner moored at Pier 25 New York. He previously spent a five-year tenure as Executive Chef of New York City's South Gate, and created and continues to work as a consultant to "15 CPW," a private restaurant at Manhattan's toniest address. Kerry remains active outside the kitchen in philanthropy, serving on the City Harvest Food Council and cooking for Share Our Strength, Project by Project, and both the Central Park and Madison Square Park Conservancies and as an advisor to several nonprofit agencies charged with seafood sustainability and conservation. In 2012, Kerry was honored as the commencement speaker at the Culinary Institute of America.
An avid outdoorsman and seafood expert, Kerry has won several charity fishing tournaments, including the "Manhattan Cup" and the "Montauk Redbone." In addition to appearing as a guest judge on Top Chef All-Stars, Kerry has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, CBS and CNN's American Morning. In addition to Grand Banks, Chef Heffernan is also consultant to "Seaworthy" a restaurant in New Orleans specializing in sustainable seafood.