Chef Cedric Harden is the leading force behind the culinary program at River Roast in Chicago, Ill. Growing up with the natural inclination and desire to cook for his family, Harden’s passion for food was sparked at a very early age. While he didn’t foresee a career in the culinary arts at first, his devotion to cooking and bringing people together through food is ultimately what inspired his career move at 22 to begin his study of culinary arts at the Le Cordon Bleu Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago.
Harden then worked his way through kitchens at Joey's Brickhouse, Le Lan, SOUL and Wolfgang Puck Catering Company, plus a seven-year tenure as sous chef at Urban Belly, Belly Shack and Belly Q.
Harden most recently served as executive chef at III Forks Steakhouse, where he brought his signature spin to classic Midwest American Steakhouse fare. Today, Harden aims to cook food that people want to talk about and talk over at the dinner table together. With a strong focus on Midwestern comfort food, he thoughtfully creates shareable dishes that are meant to bring joy, and that capture the love and warmth that the region’s cuisine is known for, as people gather to connect over a meal at River Roast.