2020 Seattle Rising Star Baker Ben Campbell of Ben's Bread and Sea Creatures

2020 Seattle Rising Star Baker Ben Campbell of Ben's Bread and Sea Creatures
January 2020

Ben Campbell may have been born and raised in the Seattle area, but his roots are in The South. His family’s Memphis origins led to a home kitchen full of comfort food and daily spreads of freshly baked cornbread, biscuits, and rolls. Although Campbell had always gravitated towards restaurants, it wasn’t until his mid-twenties that he considered the hospitality industry as a career. Fed up with boring desk jobs, he decided to enroll in the Art Institute of Seattle. Still inspired by the bread of his childhood, he picked up an interest in baking. 

After culinary school and an internship at Rising Stars alum Maria Hines’ Tilth, he cooked at CafĂ© Presse. When he scored a job at John Sundstrom’s Lark, Campbell took advantage of the opportunity to begin a bread program while still cooking in the line. For five years, he learned from trial and error, eventually building an effective, fresh, daily bread program that the entire kitchen team could learn. While at Lark in 2015, Campbell and his wife, Megan, established a community supported bakery called Ben’s Bread, with Campbell baking small batch artisan sourdough loaves via online pre-orders. One dollar from each loaf is donated to Green Plate Special, a local non-profit. In 2018, Campbell joined Renee Erickson’s opening teams at Willmott's Ghost and Deep Dive, creating the pizza dough, pastries, and focaccia. Soon after, he was promoted to head baker of Sea Creatures group. Campbell and Megan still run Ben's Bread as a monthly pop-up with plans for expansion.