The Story of TwoChefs
Enter TwoChefs, the expanded sister company to The Defiant Baker. Two crazy-in-love best friends with a passion for food and a severe gardening problem.
My husband and I pondered the concept of TwoChefs for many years. We always knew that someday we would join and become our own Maker. 2021 provided the necessary ingredients for TwoChefs to emerge.
John Raymond - Roots Renewed
I was raised with a deep connection to food - fond memories of fishing, gathering watercress on hikes, weeding gardens, and pitting cherries. The reward of the cherry pie always outweighed the labor... I cooked my way through three years of college in Madison, only to leave school in 1993 to join the American Culinary Federation program and become a culinary apprentice.
I learned a great deal from my mentors but pushed the boundaries further with my own culinary exploration. I began to farm both in rural and urban settings and began to lean on the land for unique produce, wild herbs, and mushrooms.
I pioneered the slow food, farm to fork movement in Milwaukee and opened my first business in Brewers Hill in 2003, Roots Restaurant and Cellar. Roots was a philosophy first and a restaurant second. That philosophy is woven into the very fabric of my life, a strong connection to wild foods, cultivated foods, and our local farms.
In the years that followed, I raised a wonderful daughter, Sydney Elizabeth, and met my wife in 2013, the better half of TwoChefs, Carla Raymond-Haas. Our story is still growing and very much alive. We can be found hiking the state's beautiful trails or tending our peaceful gardens. I finished the last five years operating the kitchens of the historic and storied Bartolotta Lake Park Bistro. The culinary connections made there have kept my heart and soul burning for more. Onto a new chapter, a new perspective, a desire to be part of something greater, something together, a new quest! The Path of the TwoChefs.
Carla Raymond-Haas - The Defiant Baker
I have always held a passion for the kitchen. Early childhood memories seem like yesterday. I can still taste the creations that Grandma Mueller and I would prepare. The simple smell of cinnamon and spices rising from the oven, and the Snickerdoodle cookies that followed. Traditional homemade meals, and fresh-baked bread. Grandma provided me with the passion and vision to professionally take on this industry. Many recipes of what I do today are nostalgic plays on the pastries, bread, and hearty homemade meals from my past.
Some of the most gratifying experiences of my career are those of my friends, family, and customers who share in my passion for desserts and pastries. Knowing that I have produced the emotion of sheer joy is reward enough for me to be in this field.
My professional career in Pastry Arts did not begin with my first placement, My journey began as a little girl around my grandmother's modest range. It is here that I would begin to hone my senses of taste, texture, and aroma. Years later, complete with a Pastry and Culinary Arts degree, I shifted towards professional kitchens. Executive Pastry Chef of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Pastry Chef at UWM Milwaukee, and Executive Pastry Chef at Kohls corporate headquarters. These career paths have developed me in to the diverse and unique Pastry chef that I have become today.
The name “Defiant Baker” epitomizes my mission. Live without abandon. Love without fear. Bake without question. The name TwoChefs connects me with my Husband and Best Friend. The kitchen is our playground for all to enjoy.