The history behind how the Baldwin Restaurant Group came to be…
Back in the late 1970’s, Jeff Baldwin decided to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. In 1980, Jeff was one of the youngest graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After graduation, he returned to his home state of Michigan and started working at some of the finest restaurants in the Detroit area.
Just 2 years later, at age 21, Jeff became the youngest Executive Chef of the Van Dyke Place Restaurant, which was voted “Best Restaurant” in the Detroit area. in 1986, Jeff became the Executive Chef for the famous Whitney Restaurant, where he first introduced his award winning Signature Calamari.
By 1994, Jeff was the Executive Chef of Detroit’s best waterfront restaurant, Mac and Ray’s, where he first appeared on Food Network. In 1996 he was chosen to be an advisor to the Michigan Culinary Olympics team in Berlin, Germany.
Finally in 2004, after spending more than 2 decades working for someone else, Chef Jeff opened his own restaurant and catering company, J.Baldwin’s, featuring his award winning stone fired pizza. In 2006 Jeff was voted Best Chef in Macomb County. J.Baldwin’s has won multiple awards such as Best New American Restaurant in the Detroit area (3 times) as well as #1 Sandwich “The Crab Cake Melt” by Hour Detroit Magazine.
In 2014, 10 years after opening J.Baldwin’s, Jeff’s youngest son Michael Baldwin graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with a bachelor’s degree in Culinary and Business Hospitality. A second generation graduate of the CIA, he also returned home and joined the family business. The following year, Chef’s partner Rosemarie Baldwin joined the business and launched a full service on and off premise catering division.
In 2016 after 12 years in business, the Baldwin Restaurant Group was formed and announced the expansion to include a new restaurant called “Testa Barra“ in Macomb Township, opening Spring, 2017. Chef’s oldest son Jeffrey, decided to leave his current position in Pittsburgh and return to his home town to become the Director of Operations of the Baldwin Restaurant Group.
The Baldwin Restaurant Group is currently in negotiations with a real estate development group in Detroit to open up their third restaurant…stay tuned for more information!