A San Diego native, Craig was surrounded by friends and family that regularly bonded with food and developed an appreciation for its role in all cultures and their history. The care and appreciation from beginning to end gave him a passion for quality and meaning to that saying “you are what you eat and how you eat.”
Growing up in San Diego’s unique geography exposed him to the bounty of the sea, a palette of fresh vegetables and the region’s local yet exotic ingredients, thus fueling his desire for freshness and flavor. He pursued a Culinary Arts Degree from the Art Institute of California, San Diego to learn French techniques and further open his mind to all the possibilities. There he joined an intense team competition and was taken under the wings of Chef John Miller and Chef Tina Luu. It was during those two years he discovered food is art, multi-faceted, titillating all the senses.
Just before graduating in 2005 he continued to work on this passion by learning Italian Cuisine at Prego with Chef Josh McGinnis.
“Seeing production from scratch like pasta fuels my beliefs of all the countless possibilities.”
In 2007, he had the opportunity to express himself as Executive Chef at the Guild Restaurant + Lounge in Barrio Logan, creating small plates with metal fabricator Paul Basile and getting back to harmonious flavor explosions.
A call led him back to the helm of Firefly’s warm ambiance to entice family and friends to satiate their palates. During the development of the culinary philosophy and direction at Firefly he took on some menu consultation at Neighborhood in East Village.
Working with Neighborhood sparked another collaboration between Noble Experiment and El Dorado to create a restaurant that can push the boundaries with simplicity and consistency. Craft and Commerce opened August 8th 2010.
“The thing that keeps me excited is exploring different regions of the world for their customs, cultures and traditions then using that inspiration to source the best ingredients while at their peak for expression.”
The food was so good, I blacked-out for ten seconds!
~ Sahil, student at The Child's Primary School