Growing up on a small island across from Puget Sound in Washington, Aaron Bludorn experienced what he called a “normal childhood.” When he turned sixteen, he took a job as a cook at a greasy spoon diner and, in college, he worked at restaurants. Throughout his work experiences, he gained a love for the culinary industry, leaving college to attend the Culinary Institute of America.
Chef Aaron then worked at a restaurant in Seattle before spending three years in the beautiful Napa Valley at Cyrus Restaurant, further enhancing his skills under the tutelage of Michelin-star Chef Douglas Keene. Aaron assumed that he’d continue to live on the West Coast, but Doug insisted that he move to New York as a next step in his career and connected him with Chef Daniel Boulud—a man who has launched many chefs onto their own unique paths.
In 2009, Aaron joined Cafe Boulud, becoming part of a team of vibrant talent under the direction of Executive Chef Gavin Kaysen. After a wonderful experience there, Aaron told Gavin that he was moving on, but Gavin told him that there was more they needed to do together, and so he stayed. Ultimately, Gavin recommended Aaron to take his position as executive chef and, in that position, Aaron nurtured the next generation of culinary professionals.
More recently, he married Victoria—a woman who was from Houston—and so they moved there. Aaron has opened two restaurants of his own: Navy Blue, a modern seafood restaurant, and Bludorn where he presents French-inspired American fare.
Aaron has also shared more insights into his journey to help others, including at Roots 2023: Regenerate. After a five-year hiatus of The Chef Garden’s signature Root conference, the event was held in September. There, Aaron spoke on a panel about mental health in the food industry.
Find out more about Aaron’s fascinating story in Mentorship, Self-Care, and Hospitality.
Past Episodes of our Farming for Health Podcast
If you’ve missed any of our previous episodes, you can find them here:
- Episode One: Keto, Cruciferous Vegetables, Salt and Your Mindset
- Episode Two: Cooking, Conviviality, and Preserving the Harvest
- Episode Three: Ferments, Food Insecurity, and Wasted Food
- Episode Four: Anti-Cancer Diet, Food as Medicine, and Vegetables
- Episode Five: Plants, Happiness and Mindful Neglect.
- Episode Six: Whole 30, Sustainable Habits, and Loving Vegetables
- Episode Seven: Iodine, Egg Yolk Enzymes, and Miso
- Episode Eight: Fungi, Bitter Foods, and Food Extinction
- Episode Nine: Understanding Food, Nutritional Healing and Farming
- Episode Ten: Enjoying the Process, Connection and Soup
- Episode Eleven: Monica Geller, Community and Limiting Salads
- Episode Twelve: Nourishment, Creativity, and Full-Spectrum Health
- Episode Thirteen: The Joy of Cooking, Fermentation, and Seasonality
- Episode Fourteen: Cauliflower, Potlucks, and the Joy of Food
- Episode Fifteen: Time Savers, Pickled Raisins and Cooking With Creativity
- Episode Sixteen: Romanticizing Food, Seasonal Eating, and Shamed Spinach
- Episode Seventeen: Being Present, The Eat In Method and Food as Fuel
- Episode Eighteen: Regenerative Grazing, Monarchs and Voting with Your Dollar
- Episode Nineteen: Childhood Injustice, Soil Health, and Relationship with Nature
- Episode Twenty: Yoga, Climate Changes, and Creating a Livable Future
- Episode Twenty-One: Understanding the Soul, Flow State, and Finding Your Purpose
- Episode Twenty-Two: Regenerative Food Systems, Food Sheds, and Resiliency
- Episode Twenty-Three: Leaning In: Culinary Trends and the Power of Teaching