Article written by Penny Tranchilla from Portfolio Magazine
Patrick Baker joined the team at Chelsea’s Gourmet a few months ago, but
he grew up here and attended St. Edwards and Vero Beach High School, so he’s
no stranger to the Vero Beach community.
In 2013, Patrick moved to Denver, Colorado, where he worked at one of the top restaurants
in the city. He was mentored by chefs who came from the kitchens of Wolfgang Puck and Thomas Keller. In 2017, Patrick and his wife, Sarah, left Denver to spend 10 months in Europe, where Patrick studied cuisine and culinary techniques in nine countries. We sat down with Patrick to learn more about his experience and return to Florida.
Q: What made you decide to return to Vero Beach?
PB: First and foremost, I returned for the opportunity to partner with one of my lifelong best friends, Christian Bordoli. I was in the early stages of starting a restaurant in St. Augustine when Christian sparked the idea of working together. Sarah and I have always loved Vero Beach, and the timing was right to bring everything I’ve learned and experienced back
to my hometown.
Q: How does your time abroad influence the food at Chelsea’s?
PB: Going abroad took my perspective on cooking to an entirely different place. It’s all about simplicity and elegance. Whether it was a Michelin restaurant or a Mom-and-Pop place in the middle of nowhere Croatia, it all comes back to making things look beautiful and highlighting local ingredients. Technically, our new menus show a little bit from everywhere we went; new sauces, spices and new takes on old classics.
Q: What is the vision for Chelsea’s moving forward?
PB: We want to reinvigorate an institution. We grew up here and Chelsea’s has been around since before I came around, but we also know Vero is ready for more. As we move into season, we’ll be doing more chef ’s table dinners, which will be 10+ course experience, wine-paring dinners and local farm dinners. We’re going to keep building on the momentum we’ve started with the new happy hour and brunch and keep the sense of community top of mind through partnerships with local farmers, purveyors, charities and events.