Chef Greg Baker
Clearwater, FL raised Greg Baker set his sights on Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR directly out of high school. He chose to leave the sunshine and white sandy beaches (and a fully paid college tuition) for diverse farmland, abundant adventurous eaters and an awesome punk rock scene. It would be in Portland where he would find his love and cement his respect for the elegance of Poor Man Food. Forging partnerships with local farmers for nearly a decade, Greg took these lessons back home to Tampa Bay where he would change the culinary scene by putting faces to farmers and daringly utilize all aspects of proteins. He now boasts thousands of food fans that travel from all over to enjoy his creations. But Baker remains very humbled by his success often being quoted “I’m just a dumb kid who cooks.”
Baker opened The Refinery with his wife; Michelle, in 2010 in the historic neighborhood of Seminole Heights, Tampa. His menus incorporate the flavors of the vast countrysides from across the globe, mixed with classical French technique all the while keeping in mind Florida’s rich cultural history. He is known for resurrecting nearly lost Florida ingredients and cooking techniques.
The Refinery has been named in Bon Appetit , Southern Living, Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes.com, and Esquire Magazine, as well as countless local and national online and weekly publications. Zagat rated The Refinery ‘Best Restaurant’ 2012. The James Beard Foundation named The Refinery as a semi-finalist Best New Restaurant in 2010 and named Baker a semi-finalist for Best Chef South in 2011 and 2012. This is Greg's first year representing Tampa at the Taste of Derby.