Benjamin Thompson grew up in Colorado Springs. He joined the United State Navy in 2000 to become a ship's cook aboard the USS HAMPTON. His deployment exposed him to cuisine from the North Pole to the Mediterranean. In his professional duties, he learned that food on the submarine was critical to crew morale, and, moreover, that the act of eating together was integral to fostering fellowship within a community.
After five years of service, Ben married the love of his life, Reagan Holland and began work in Charlottesville at Oxo Restaurant. Ben and Reagan then left Charlottesville to move to New York, where Ben attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Graduating at the top of his class with an award for "Excellence through Leadership," Ben was able to secure an externship at Chef Thomas Keller's three-Michelin-star restaurant per se in Manhattan. His success led him to a position at The French Laundry, Keller's flagship restaurant in the Napa Valley.
In 2009, Ben and Reagan moved from California to Nelson County, VA, where they founded The Rock Barn. Ben and Reagan reside in Arrington, VA, right down the street from TRB. They had their first daughter, Elena, in 2012.