Chicago native Tanya Baker knew at an early age she wanted to be a cook. Applying solely to culinary schools, she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2006, then worked at a few restaurants before becoming the opening sous chef at The Boarding House. By the time she was 26, she was promoted to Executive Chef at the restaurant. Last year, she was named a finalist in the James Beard Awards' Rising Star category. Baker's cooking is French-influenced, yet she grew up with a Korean mother and a Louisiana-bred father, which broadened her palate. Rick asked her to stop by for one of our regular challenges this week, using cucumbers as the main ingredient.
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