Chef Spike Gjerde of Foodshed Group - Biography
Spike Gjerde is a chef, restaurateur, food entrepreneur, and local food advocate who lives and works in Baltimore. Through his work, he is committed to creating meaningful and measurable change within his local food system — to wholly supporting thoughtful food production in the Mid-Atlantic and to help ensure a future for its farmers and watermen. Spike leads a team of nearly 300 across six locations in Baltimore including Woodberry Kitchen, Artifact Coffee, Bird in Hand, Parts & Labor, Grand Cru and canning operation Woodberry Pantry, plus A Rake’s Progress and The Cup We All Race 4 to open at The LINE DC hotel in Adams Morgan this May. In 2015, Spike became the first and only Baltimore chef to bring home the James Beard Foundation’s award for “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic.” He was a finalist both years prior.
Spike has been a fixture of Baltimore’s culinary community since he opened Spike & Charlie’s with his brother in 1991. The two went on to open a string of neighborhood restaurants including bistro jr., the seafood-focused Atlantic, the pan-Latin Joy America Café, and Italian eatery Vespa.
In 2007 Spike and his wife Amy opened Woodberry Kitchen in an abandoned foundry building in historic Clipper Mill. From the start, Spike & Amy dedicated themselves to helping create a viable local food economy by supporting nearby growers, which today has expanded to a network of more than 60 different producers throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
In July 2012, Spike & Amy opened Artifact Coffee — a cafe featuring whole-grain baking and a menu of soups, sandwiches, and salads served throughout the day. In 2013, he scaled up Woodberry Pantry’s canning operation in order to help ensure a year-round supply of preserved fruits, vegetables, and herbs for his restaurants as well as area retail outlets. Parts & Labor followed in the spring of 2014, a whole-animal butcher shop and hearth-fired restaurant located in Baltimore’s burgeoning Remington neighborhood. And in 2015, Spike became a partner at Belvedere Square institution Grand Cru Wine Bar which then adopted his approach to sourcing. Most recently, along with partners Amy and Corey Polyoka, Spike collaborated with The Ivy Bookshop to open Bird in Hand, a bookshop-cafe in Charles Village, in November 2016.
Spike’s pioneering work has resulted in widespread media attention, including features in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, bon appétit, Esquire, Condé Nast Traveler, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, and The Washington Post. Spike has appeared on “CBS This Morning” and NBC’s “The TODAY Show,” and was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods America” with Andrew Zimmern. His restaurants have graced the ranks of many “best of” lists, including Condé Nast Traveler’s 2016 “Where in the World to Eat”, Bon Appétit’s 2009 “Best New Restaurants” and the national “Eater 38” best restaurants.