CHEF CRAIG BAKER
Craig worked his way through college in kitchens at various restaurants in Pennsylvania and along the eastern seaboard. After his college graduation, he followed his passions to Portland, Oregon and into the kitchen of Assaggio, an award-winning authentic Italian restaurant, where he served as chef de cuisine. Over the following twenty years, he has excelled in the industry by winning awards and utilizing his experiences. His first restaurant and bar, Echo, in Portland was ranked one of Portland’s top 50 restaurants in 04’- 05’ and one of its top 10 new bars of 2004. In spring 2006, Craig sold Echo to his business partner and relocated to Indiana.
He has had recognition for his work in culinary competitions, industry publications and in the press. His work has been featured in the “Best of” lists in both Portland and Indianapolis along with regional and national cookbooks. In 2012-2018 he was recognized by Top Chef’s of America, James Beard House, Zagat, Urban Spoons and OpenTable’s Top 100 lists for Family Friendly Meals and Gluten Free restaurants in the country, Top 10 Cocktails, best of Charcuterie, Top Meals, Hot Spots, Top 25 Restaurants 2011-2016 by Indy Monthly and Eater’s best restaurants in Indiana. In 2013 - 2018 he competed in the World Food Championships placing as high as first and winning other national and regional competitions across the country. One of Craig’s restaurants, The Local was recognized nationally for its mission to support local economies, farms, artisans, and philanthropy. He has appeared on local and national television and radio promoting different charities, events/ restaurants, and culinary competitions.
Craig recently sold his shares in Plow and Anchor, The Taco Shop, Bent Rail Brewery, and the Local Eatery and Pub to open a consulting company. He now has opened twenty-eight restaurants and hotels across North America and the Bahamas. His specialization in opening and in project management from inception has enabled him to work with global companies like SBE Entertainment Group, SLS Hotels, Walmart, Clearwater Seafood along with regional chains across the United States.