Mark Haugen was raised on the aromas of his grandmother cooking dishes from her native Greece. He worked in restaurants while attending the University of Minnesota, which were a training ground in classic French cooking.
After graduation in 1981, he became the executive chef at Tejas of Minneapolis, bringing southwest cuisine to the upper Midwest. In 1987, He and Wayne Kostroski started Cuisine Concepts which included the Taste of the NFL. In 1988, John Mariani of Esquire Magazine named it one of the most exciting restaurants and in 1994, the Great Chefs television crew showed up to tape him for Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs – Great Cities series and also their Great Chefs of America television series.
Also in 1994, Chef Haugen started and co-owns the Franklin Street Bakery, a wholesale bakery. In 2004, he and Wayne Kostroski opened a retail section of the bakery called Loring Kitchen, but that closed in December of 2015. The wholesale section remains in operation today in 2016.