Chef Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen - Biography

Baltimore, MD

September 2016

Iowa-born and Baltimore-raised Spike Gjerde holds degrees in philosophy and Chinese, but it was an 18-month apprenticeship in pastry at Pâtisserie Poupon in Baltimore that laid the ground for a career in food. Gjerde burst onto the Baltimore food scene in 1991 when he opened Spike & Charlie’s with his brother. That restaurant was the first expression of Gjerde’s belief in cooking with local, seasonal ingredients. It was an idea way ahead of its time and set the restaurant, and its chef, apart.

Gjerde continued setting trends with the neighborhood bistro, jr., the emphatically fresh seafood restaurant Atlantic, and pan-Latin Joy America Café. A partnership in Vespa even allowed Gjerde to explore the Italian side of his creativity. Remaining hands on and true to his principles as his empire expanded, he opened Woodberry Kitchen in 2007, where his matured, refined cuisine continues to broadcast an enduring commitment to sustainability. He followed Woodberry with Artifact Coffee, the sustainably comfortable Shoo-Fly Diner, whole animal butcher shop and restaurant, Parts & Labor.

Gjerde’s ever expanding Foodshed Group will reach Washington, D.C., in fall 2016, when he will open a restaurant with the Sydell (Hotel) Group, which owns other properties such as the NoMad in New York City. According to Gjerde, the yet unnamed project “will be like Woodberry, but with a little more polish.” Earlier in 2016, Gjerde won James Beard’s “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic.”