Executive Chef, Crave Kitchen and Cocktails
Hailing from Hayes, KS, Chef Landen was raised by two well respected working artists -Sheldon and Linda Ganstrom. Having artists as parents, Landen was taught early in life to appreciate self-expression and hard work. Gravitating toward the culinary arts, he entered culinary school at 18, earning a degree in Culinary Arts and Applied Sciences while also completing the Chef’s Apprenticeship Program in Kansas City.
While still in school in Kansas City he stepped into a working kitchen under Executive Chef Andre Yusef, at Argosy Casino. Landen was able put into practice the theory and skills he was learning in the classroom into a real world environment. This experience helped excel him to the top of his class – graduating, with honors, in the Top 5 of his Culinary Program!
While life brought him away from home to Rhode Island, Chef Landen was fortunate to enter the rich culinary world of Master Chef Hieko Bendixen of Foxwoods Casino & Resort. His professional experience has ranged from large kitchens at casinos in New England to the more intimate wine and tapas bars on the beaches of South Carolina.
As Executive Chef of Crave Kitchen & Cocktails from the moment they opened their doors in March of 2008, Chef Landen has been responsible for the development of every menu for the restaurant where his focus has been a fusion style gourmet that is still comfortable and exciting to both the locals and tourists that frequent the restaurant. Chef’s commitment to his guests is second only to his commitment to using local, sustainable ingredients in his amazing culinary creations.
What can only be described as a meteoric rise in the culinary world while at the helm of the Crave’s kitchen, Chef Landen has earned countless awards including having the most award winning Macaroni & Cheese in the country. Most recently Chef Landen won the Southern Living 2014 Iron Chef Competition and his 5th consecutive Charleston Mac Off.
Chef Landen’s passion for food is closely rivaled by his passion for competitive Cross-Fit, which he has been involved in for over three years. Having placed first in the South Carolina Primal Games along with many other top-seeded accomplishments in the fitness arena, Chef Landen’s competitive nature and commitment to excellence drives him to excel in all of life’s challenges.