Our Story


What is it about cooking that ignites our imagination and invigorates our senses? 

Is it creativity?  A blank canvas of ingredients, carefully crafted into a masterpiece of the palate.

Is it tradition?  Comfort personified, eliciting nostalgia though meticulous family recipes.

If I could pinpoint my culinary awakening, its origins would be traced to my youth, immersed in Europe’s rich and distinctive food scene.  Uprooted from my family and friends in suburban New Jersey, my father, a government scientist, relocated my brother, mother, and me to Germany.  

Immediately, the overwhelmingly raw and fascinating experiences of traditional local German butcher shops, and French superstores dedicated entirely to fresh fish and aged cheese, was a bombardment to the senses.  

Exposure to such fresh, unique, and sometimes unusual cuisine through my formative years left an indelible imprint on my soul.  However, the most lasting impression, regardless of country visited and meal savored, were the human connections made along the way.  Simply put, food brings us together, and our trivial differences are set aside when an assorted charcuterie platter and a carafe of locally bottled wine bridge the gap.

Inspired by the regional delicacies enjoyed on hauntingly beautiful, yet often dreary cobblestone streets, with local strangers or old acquaintances, I wanted to design a product that would celebrate humanity’s goodwill… something beautiful which would stand the test of time, while developing character in the process.

Expertly crafted with sustainably harvested Acacia wood, the exquisite contour of caramel and chocolate hues unapologetically set the standard for kitchen artistry.  Specifically designed to protect the blades of your expensive knives, while remaining steadfast to your toughest task, our premium butcher blocks are a not so subtle declaration to the cooking world that you take your shitake seriously.  

Meticulous preparation.  Flawless presentation.  Divine indulgence.  

Hardwood Chef is a celebration of humanity’s empathetic fellowship though the palate.  Regardless of culture, nationality, or religion, food is the one great unifier.

Jonathan Bruce

President, Hardwood Chef