Growing up in the south, Chef Brandon Baltzley knew that his career trajectory would be unusual. Opting to educate himself in the kitchen, he left the school system after eighth grade to help out at his mother’s small restaurant, Whistlestop Café in Jacksonville, Florida, later landing his first full-time kitchen role at the age of 14.
Baltzley played the drums in heavy metal band, Kylesa for two years before moving to Washington, DC at age 22 for a position as Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Nora, the country’s first certified organic restaurant. In the decade since, he has staged, collaborated, and held positions at celebrated restaurants in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Copenhagen, including Allen and Delancey, Bar Marco, Amass and Noma. While in Chicago, Baltzley started CRUX, a start-up collective that brings together exceptional chefs and puts them on tour to bring thought-provoking food to people in unconventional settings.
Reflecting on his unusual career path and struggles with substance abuse, Baltzley wrote and released his first book, Nine Lives: A Chef’s Journey from Chaos to Control in 2013, gaining widespread acclaim from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and more.
Seeking a new city to plant their roots after the closure of his first independent restaurant, TMIP in Indiana, Baltzley and his now-wife traveled to New England in 2015. Baltzley was hired as Co-Chef at Brookline, Massachusetts restaurant, Ribelle, where he spent a year in the kitchen with Co-Chef/Owner Tim Maslow before the restaurant shuttered. In 2016, he started mobile restaurant project, The Buffalo Jump, in conjunction with Coonamessett Farm on Cape Cod. hiking, kayaking, camping, traveling and foraging for ingredients.
Whether bussing tables of a New England cafe or working at award-winning Le Quartier Francais in South Africa, Laura Higgins-Baltzley commands professionalism and excellence in the kitchen. She graduated at the top of her class from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, CA before moving to Chicago, where she was named sous chef of Trenchermen. Two years later, she returned to the East Coast, where she worked as executive sous chef of The Boston Globe 4 star receiving Ribelle.
Through her work at The Buffalo Jump, Laura was awarded the Eater National Young Guns Award in 2016. She works closely with the community putting on charity dinners, baking with her Mother at Peck O' Dirt Farm and Bakery, and selling their goods at many local farmer's markets.
Born on the Gulf Coast and raised here in Falmouth, You don't have to look far to find where Madeline LaCroix's love of the ocean and all of New England's native bounty began. At a young age, LaCroix would start her mornings either tagging along on her father's fish delivery routes, or hulling lobster traps in, before heading off to waitress for the night on Cape Cod.
LaCroix's knack for adventure and travel brought her to Napa, California, where she quickly began her work under chef Jeremy Fox and Tyler Florence at Rotisserie and Wine. She continued to San Francisco to work at Chris Consentino's Incanto where she enjoyed captivating guests with the sustainable, nose-to-tail staples of suckling pig, liver, and brains. Two years later, sails caught wind South and LaCroix found her way back to her bayou home roots. Settling in as a server and manager at the French Press in Lafayette, LA.
As the East Coast called for her return, LaCroix came back with her service revelations and a new philosophy on food to join The Jump. Madeline enjoys fishing, and collecting sea glass, in her rare free time here on Cape Cod.
The Buffalo Jump:
A variation of the pishkun was the "buffalo jump." The V-shaped pathway was also used in this method, but it ended at a sheer cliff some twenty or more feet in height. The best jumps were at the edge of a good pasture which sloped gently into a shallow draw and toward the rim. Hunters ran the herd in the direction of the cliff.
Shortly thereafter, the thundering herd would plummet off the cliff, ending in a mass of dead and crippled beasts at the foot of the cliff. There, the hunters finished them off, and the women set immediately to skinning them, since any meat not cut, sliced, and placed on drying racks by morning would spoil.
This type of hunting was a communal event which occurred as early as 12,000 years ago and lasted until at least 1500 AD, around the time of the introduction of horses.