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Sean Baker
Meet Sean Baker

Chef Sean Baker brings a unique style of Northern California cooking to Gather, his restaurant in Berkeley, California. Baker's culinary technique ranges from rustic to modern, and his inspiration comes from deep working relationships with farmers and ranchers who are extremely passionate about their craft.

The ingredients drive the approach in Baker's kitchen. He collaborates with farmers such as Linda Butler of Lindencroft Farm, who cultivates rare heirloom varietals of vegetables, fruits, and grains; raises heritage animal breeds; and forages wild plants, flowers, pollen and mushrooms for the menu at Gather. Commonly discarded vegetable parts like peels, roots, bolts and silks are utilized to create Baker's distinctive dishes.

Baker was named Chef of the Year by Esquire in 2010, and The New York Times called Gather "a Michael Pollan book come to life." Baker lives in San Francisco with his wife, who is also a chef.

Q&A with Sean Baker

Q: Describe your cooking style.

A: My cooking style is hard to explain, but it's vegetable focused. I have this dream of having a restaurant menu that just says "turnip" – there could be meat in the dish, but it's always about the turnip. I try to extract as much flavor as I can from vegetables. I really enjoy the different flavor profiles, depth, richness – everything that's involved in vegetable cookery. I also think they aren't given the respect they deserve. But here in the Bay Area there are lots of chefs doing great things with vegetables.

Read the full Q & A on our blog

Roasted Heirloom Carrots with Cashew Ricotta and Carrot-Top Tarragon Puree Shaved Baby Turnip Salad Strawberry-Kumquat Salad 5 Vegan Ingredients to try now A Fresh Take on Vegetarian Dinners
Top Kitchen Items

Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker >
A pressure cooker can yield delicious results in a very short amount of time, especially with broths. I also use it for pressure cooking fruits and making purees and jams.

Polyscience Sous Vide Professional Immersion Circulator >
Immersion circulators allow us to cook things with a little more precision. I enjoy using it for fruits and vegetables – we sous vide apples and all kinds of foods.

Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender >
I think of the Vitamix as the workhorse of our kitchen. It always creates a texture that's super fine and delicious.

Le Creuset Cast Iron Pâté Terrine >
We use these for all of our pâté and terrines. They have been around for a long time, and there's a reason why.

The Smoking Gun >
We use this for smoking nuts and fish. I also like to use it for crudo and seaweed, to make the fish smell slightly of smoke.

Fermentation Crock >
I like to use these for preserving lemons and making miso and sauerkraut. We ferment everything in them.