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Foodie: Jennifer Wiese of BeeFree Bakery

Baker Jennifer Wiese created a gluten- and dairy-free line of baked goods.

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Foodie: Michael Gray of Plat 99 is Tray Chic

Few would connect this drink-slinger’s surname to the 88-year-old square-meal shrine, Gray Brothers Cafeteria.

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Foodie: Matt Kornmeyer of Scratch Truck

A self-proclaimed workaholic, Kornmeyer spends a minimum of 70 hours a week experimenting with creative ways to rework the expected American classics.

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Foodie: Tyler Herald, Napolese Chef

To Patachou Inc.’s 32-year-old executive chef, Tyler Herald, they’re not just diners seeking sustenance—they’re fans gathering before his live rock concert–esque performance.

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Foodie: Valerie Vanderpool of Zest

“I have a hard time corralling myself, because I get excited,” she says. That boundless enthusiasm will come in handy as she debuts her cocktail-bar project, Twist Lounge, this month. “It’ll be Zest’s sexy sister next door.”

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Foodie: Mark Cox of Fermenti Artisan

Now an energetic 37-year-old with bright eyes and radiant skin, he acknowledges he didn’t always care about wellness. He was not raised in a pickling family: He grew up eating processed commercial foods, and then waited tables at steakhouse and seafood chains. “I was five pant sizes bigger, suffered from attention deficit disorder, and didn’t have any energy,” he says. In 2006, through the studies of a turn-of-the-century researcher named Weston A. Price, Cox and Henson discovered that wellness begins with a healthy gut. Cox believes that today’s overprocessed food system takes out important bacteria our bodies need. “I immediately woke up and began my own preventative maintenance, and lacto-fermentation was the missing link in my life.” 

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Foodie: Craig Baker's Full Plate

It came as no surprise when Baker announced plans for not one, but two new diverse dining concepts in the next year.

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Foodie: Ed Rudisell Is No Rookie

Ed Rudisell doesn’t fit the typical multi-restaurant-mogul mold. He’s not the clean-cut suit who rolls up in a Lexus and barks about food costs and mission statements. In fact, this laid-back and tatted entrepreneur (who drives a Buick) landed in the industry by accident, after getting laid off from a bank job. “When I was 24, I started working for Buffalo Wild Wings. I just needed to pay my rent,” says Rudisell, now 36 and co-owner of two successful local restaurants, Black Market and Siam Square.

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Foodie: Scott Wise of Brewhouse Fame

Inside any of the six Scotty’s Brewhouses dotting the Indiana landscape, overgrown frat boys never go thirsty. Neon signs cover the walls, and TVs inside bathroom stalls tout “U-call-it” and Bud pitcher nights.

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Foodie: Carrie Abbott's Nutty Idea

The first in 38-year-old confectioner Carrie Abbott’s line of “nostalgia” candies, Frittle tastes like a peanutbuttery cross between brittle and fudge—delivered in pieces only slightly bigger than Scrabble letters. Try to eat just one.

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Foodie: The David Tallent Show

While staying at the helm of his flagship Restaurant Tallent, which celebrates its ninth year this November, Tallent will also act as the consulting executive chef at the new Topo’s 403, developing the menu for the first year and overseeing the day-to-day chef.

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Foodie: Brad Gates, The Big Cheese

Call him a caterer. Call him a chef. Just don’t call Brad Gates a man without big ideas. He may be working in one of his smallest kitchens yet, in a corner of City Market, but Gates is putting his highly refined palate to work on catering, to-go lunches, and one of Indy’s best cheese cases, stocked with up to 40 selections.

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Foodie: Greg Gunthorp's Greener Pastures

Gunthorp says Indianapolis is taking the sustainable trend to new levels. “It’s going gangbusters,” he says. Chicago’s Rick Bayless is his biggest customer, but Chris Eley from Smoking Goose is a close second.

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Foodie: Laura Henderson of Indy Winter Farmers Market

“I really feel like my personal mission in life is directly tied to the work that I do,” Henderson says. “My job is to empower individuals and communities to grow well, eat well, live well, and be well.”