Chris Holen

Chef Outta Water
Astoria, OR

Chris Holen is an American Professional Chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur. Chef Holen grew up in rural Alaska and after spending a good part of his early twenties travelling outside of the country he came to realize that food was the common denominator of all the adventures and made the decision to pursue a culinary career.

Chris is a graduate of The Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona with degrees in both Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. Since the year 2000 he has been self-employed, along with his wife Jennifer in the restaurant business owning and operating a number of establishments.

Chris and Jennifer call the historic city of Astoria, Oregon home having lived there for the past 18 years and together they have an 11 year old daughter. They have become ingrained in the community and live by the mantra, “lucky to live here” and their restaurant has become a mainstay in the Columbia Pacific region.

Chef Holen has cooked at The James Beard House in New York City on three separate occasions, twice on loan to another local chef assisting in their event and more recently had the fortune of being invited to represent his restaurant and Astoria in November of 2012. In August, 2014 Chef Holen represented the state of Oregon at the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Holen’s Baked Alaska restaurant is on the Oregonian’s Gerry Frank Top 10 Oregon Restaurant list and Chris participates in a number of state-wide food and wine events showcasing Northwest ingredients.

Chris works closely with visiting cruise ships that make Astoria a port of call. In the past few years he has entertained 1000’s of visitors with a shore excursion featuring seafood cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and stories about Astoria’s history and recent renaissance. The lecture that follows tells his own personal story, but also shares the storied history of Astoria and how as a community it has reinvented itself and continues to move in a forward and economically viable way.

Chris is an entrepreneur and keeps his hands in a number of projects to diversify his business and personal brand. Chef Daddy Brands ( is a culinary sea salt business that offers a variety of blended sea salts intended to enhance the already existing flavors of food. The Baked Alaska has its own wine label, produced in partnership with a Willamette Valley, Oregon winery and HÖLEN Northwest Aquavit is a project with a small local distillery. Chris has Norwegian roots and Astoria, Oregon has a rich Scandinavian heritage. Combining that heritage, local ingredients and his love of obscure spirits Chris created this aquavit that is meant to literally “taste like the Northwest.”

Chris’s most recent food and travel passion project is Chef Outta Water. What started as a simple desire to get out of his own kitchen to gain more knowledge has become a World-wide exchange program that takes Chefs out of their comfort zones to work with and learn from others. Chef Outta Water is a ‘global partnership’ between chefs and is facilitated by Chris and his Australian business partners. The partners are professionals in the economic development space and when combined with Chris’s experience in food and beverage has made for a clever marriage.

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