With a culinary degree under his belt, Chris pursued experience in the trenches in a few busy Portland kitchens with high standards, like Wildwood and Meriwether’s.
In 2006 Chris was promoted into a rigorous sous chef gig under Executive Chef Christopher Israel – at 23Hoyt, just as we opened. More recently he earned high regard and notoriety while Executive Chef at the Gilt Club. During his time there he traveled to NYC to cook a dinner at the James Beard House, appeared in an episode of the Food Network’s Meat & Potatoes, and became locally famous for his creative and elaborate utilization of pork products and offal.
Self-proclaimed cookbook hoarder Chris Carriker was warmly welcomed back into the BCR family in August of 2013.
This hands-on experience is complemented by Alex’s formal training at the Western Culinary Institute, now Le Cordon Bleu, in Portland. Alex has been a leader in the kitchen at Saucebox for years, working closely with Chef Gregory Gourdet and Chef Jason Neroni before he took the helm in early 2011. Now in 2016 Alex is the Executive Chef at Clarklewis.
Even as a boy, when anyone would ask lil’ Zack what he wanted to be when he grew up the answer was the same: a resounding, “I wanna be a chef!” In his large Italian family, his mom probably welcomed the help in the kitchen. The seven family members would eat together every night at 6:00 pm sharp. That’s part of the reason why Zack is so at ease in a busy kitchen. It’s like home for him.
Aside from his Mom – a capable home cook herself, Zack’s earliest influences include the neighbors, Dan and Marie who had a huge vegetable garden out back. Zack was always in the garden with them, weeding, harvesting, shelling peas… The connection between what you grow and what you eat is engraved in his mind, and in his habits.
After culinary school Zack landed his first professional kitchen job with Chef Bill Nigo in Sacramento at the renowned contemporary Japanese Kru Restaurant, where he worked his way up the ranks from intern to sous chef.
Oregon’s quality agriculture was a big part of the draw that inspired Zack to move from the Northern California valley farm country in 2012. He continues to develop and further his relations with local farmers, ranchers and food artisans in and nearby Portland.
On his rare days outside the Saucebox kitchen, Zack may be found fishing the Lewis River in Washington, foraging, or perhaps up on the roof of the building across the street from the Clarklewis, tending to his own urban kitchen garden.