Mark serves as Chef Director for the Taste of the NFL and has been a featured chef representing the Minnesota Vikings at many past Taste events. In cooking, Mark Haugen is expertly trilingual. The aromas of his childhood were warmed by his grandmother’s dishes from her native Greece. Restaurant jobs while he was at the University of Minnesota proved a training ground in classic French cooking.
When he became Executive Chef at Tejas in Minneapolis, he introduced the upper Midwest to the foods of the Southwest, but with an inventiveness that was all Mark’s and winning Tejas the Minneapolis restaurant Esquire magazine’s nod as one of the most exciting new restaurants of 1988. In 1990, he was a key member of the team that prepared the state dinner at the Governor's Mansion in St. Paul honoring special guest, Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1991, he was chosen to assist in the Great Chefs Cooking Series at the Mondavi Vineyards. Haugen is active in several community organizations as well. He is involved in Twelve Baskets, the Twin Cities food distribution program for the Twin Cities’ Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank, and he served as a committee member for Taste of the Nation, the hunger-relief effort of Minneapolis and St. Paul area restaurants. He has also participated in major Meals on Wheels benefits in Los Angeles and New York City, as well as two Hurricane Andrew benefits in Miami.