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Tanya Baker
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Tanya Baker

The Boarding House


    

A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, Chef Tanya Baker joined The Boarding House’s opening team after serving as line cook and chef de cuisine in restaurants throughout the city. She was appointed executive chef in 2014 and was quickly recognized a chef on the rise by the Chicago Sun-Times. She has since been featured prominently in the Chicago Tribune, Northwest Indiana Times, Mandarin Quarterly, Thrillist and more. In 2015, the James Beard Foundation named Chef Baker as a finalist in the Rising Star Chef category for the organization’s annual, prestigious Awards.

As the only child in grade school that had seaweed, pickled daikon, and rice packed in their lunch box, Baker’s Korean mother had a large impact on her introduction to food. She spent most of her childhood in the kitchen, watching, learning, and eating with her mother. Combined with her father’s Cajun roots and his family’s affinity for gumbo, jambalaya, dirty rice, and other Southern dishes, Baker developed a diverse palate early on. After a trip with her parents to Louisiana, her love of Southern flavors grew deeper and she and her father returned home inspired, preparing homemade boudin and crawfish beignets for the Super Bowl. Baker’s parents played a significant role in feeding her curiosity for food then, and continue to support her love of the industry today.

Executive Chef Baker’s focus at The Boarding House lies in preparing simple, seasonal and visually appealing dishes. She applies a ‘less is more’ philosophy when it comes to food and pays delicate attention to enhance each product’s natural beauty, adding fun and elegant elements along the way. In nurturing both her culinary team and the guest experience, she enjoys close collaboration with the restaurant’s impressive team of women leaders, including Owner Alpana Singh, Pastry Chef Julia Fitting and Sommelier Kelly Peterson Bates.

Outside of the kitchen, Baker spends her time with friends and family, fishing, golfing and enjoying the city of Chicago.

 

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