By Haley Sorenson, March 31, 2015

For March’s Meet the Chef, we talked to Carl Chambers at Cunningham Restaurant Group. He has quite an extensive resume!


Could you give us a little bit of information about your culinary background?

I have been cooking 16 years and worked in all style of restaurants. The short list below is a few of them.

  • Upland brew pub in Bloomington (While I was going to IU)
  • Texas Roadhouse as a KM (At a very young age of 24 yrs old)
  • Table Restaurant (In North Carolina farm to table restaurant, While going to culinary school at Johnson and Wales)
  • Blue Restaurant (In North Carolina White table cloth steak house)
  • Sun River resort(Bend Oregon)
  • Fennoui Restaurant( In Portland OR, French Brasserie)
  • 14 West Restaurant( Back when it was good and still open)

Then on to CRG where I have been able to help open 7 restaurants with Mike Cunningham including Stone Creek West Chester, Moerlein Lager House, Mesh on Mass, Mesh Louisville, Bru on Mass, Bru Lexington, and Union 50. With three more restaurants planned for this year!


Were you born a Hoosier? If not, what brought you to Indiana?

I was born a Hoosier and after doing a bit of traveling and living in North Carolina and Oregon my wife and I decided to return back to the Hoosier state.


Could you tell us about Cunningham Restaurant Group and what someone in your position does during the day-to-day?

Cunningham Restaurant Group is a local restaurant group that has begun thriving over the past few years and continues to serve our local communities. My main job focuses are opening new restaurants and doing seasonal menu changes at all 14 properties. We also participate in numerous local events and fundraisers, while still upholding the standards of our restaurants. I do work in the kitchens with the chefs, but not nearly as much as I used to or would like to. Most of the time I spend in the kitchens is researching or developing new products and recipes.


This month’s #INseason ingredient is Pork, do you have a favorite cut? Or a favorite way to cook and/or eat Indiana pork?

So what’s not to like about pork? How do you choose a favorite cut off of one of the tastiest animals ever? Obviously the belly and shoulders are great cured for a few days and then smoked low and slow over a mixture of pecan and apple wood, but I would say that my favorite cut is the cheek or to further that making guanciale. Very succulent and delicious, one of my favorites.

Carl, we love pork, too! Thanks for chatting with us!