Chef Christopher L. Baker (a.k.a. Tigger) was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in the Chesapeake Bay Area, specifically Ellicott City. He started his love for cooking at seven years old. Spending quality time with his grandmother, Flora Baker, cooking German cuisine and local stand-byes, his love for food exploded. Being a latchkey kid cooking dinner from then on was practically an every night endeavor through the end of high school for his Mom Rita, Dad Jack, Sister Jackie, and countless friends and other family members.
He went to college at Frostburg State University of Maryland. After pledging ‘Delta Phi Omega’, Chef Baker was constantly cooking and competing against other fraternity brothers and other classmates and towny’s. In such a cold place, eating is essential for survival, and the off campus home kitchens had no lack of competition.
Chef Baker paid his way through college by working his graphic design business, music producing and cooking in numerous restaurants in the region, learning everything possible about the hospitality and restaurant business. Following a nonstop six intense years of busting his ass, he finally graduated from FSU with the BFA in Art & Design with concentrations in Business Marketing, Art History, Photography and successfully winning his senior class art show.
Post graduation he relocated to the Denver Metro Area to enjoy the epic mountain sports and to be near his sister. During this time he worked his private advertising, marketing and Internet businesses to save to one day start his own restaurant. Meanwhile, he worked hard at studying in perfecting his culinary craft, cooking anywhere or place and chance. He did not work in any commercial kitchen at all for twenty years!
Needing a change he decided to make a permanent move to the ‘Texas Coastal Bend Region’, specifically Rockport/Fulton and Port Aransas, Texas about four years ago after a life defining/changing encounter while visiting, he found he belongs here. He made a strategic move to work for a local restaurant food delivery business in marketing, advertising and IT, which put him in every type of restaurant in the region. As a result he partnered with Chef Keith Sisson of the famous ‘Louisiana Grill’. Next, he was to co-found ‘Sulla Costa Italian Ristorante’ in Fulton as General Manager and Head Chef working with Executive Chef Tomcat/Partner. Sadly, the restaurant was totally destroyed four months after by Hurricane Harvey.
Days after Harvey, Chef Baker worked with the Cajun Commissary in feeding over 13,000 people in six weeks from the beach and downtown area of Rockport. Making certain Port Aransas was not forgotten, and sent all extra supplies, materials and food with assistance from Amy Montgomery and the ‘Cajun Army – Klyde’, ‘Navy – Keith Bryant’ and ‘Commissary – Tiffany Theriot’, to ‘Roberts Point Park’ and the ‘Cowboy Church’, after a plea for help from Bron Doyle, a local resident, businessman and hero.
As things stabilized Chef Baker was asked by Restaurateur, Mixologist and Chef, Chris Fox, of ‘495 Chesapeake Eats’ in old downtown Rockport to assist him as Head Chef to restart his restaurant and went back to work. Chef Baker accepted the position temporarily as a necessary steppingstone to launch his next restaurant and simply could not deny a friend and supporter in need.
As Karma would have it, he followed a tip from a friend and ex-employee of ‘Sulla Costa’, Ali Doyle, and visited with Master Chef Billy Joe Wilson at ‘Billy Joe’s Craft House’ in Port Aransas and was fortunate to find a new home at such an excellent restaurant.
Chef Baker is in the process of finding a solid financial partner to back and create a restaurant in the region the like’s it has never seen before.
Chef Baker is honored and humbled to have been offered this wonderful opportunity to compete against such wonderful talented Texas chefs. He thanks the ‘Texas Super Chef Throwdown’ organization for the invitation to compete, and most of all the sponsors and fans for their prayers, love and support.
He wishes everyone the best of luck and stay, TEXAS STRONG!