Chef Jeff Baker of Baker & Banker - Biography
San Francisco, CA
Chef-owner Jeff Banker is one half of the equation at San Francisco’s Baker & Banker, which he runs with wife and pastry chef Lori Baker, but he’s 100 percent chef. Realizing he wanted to be a cook at 12 years old while watching his mother cook, he became her “sous chef” in their Orange County home and working at restaurants during high school. He then studied at Cal Polytechnic State University, focusing on hotel and restaurant management, and then worked at first Pascal in Newport Beach, California, and then Patina in Los Angeles.
Like many chefs, Banker traveled to gain experience. He moved to Venezuela during his early 20s, and when he returned to the States (San Francisco, to be exact) at 23 years old, it was with a newfound appreciation for fresh ingredients. He worked at Postrio, Acme Chophouse, and Home. In between the travel bug bit again, and Banker decided to retrain his skills at Le Cordon Blue and staging at Lucas Carton. After a brief stint as a private chef, Banker then opened Baker & Banker in late 2009 with his wife, where the two create innovative riffs on beloved classic American dishes.