The Golden is the first restaurant from Chefs Aaron Butts and Sean Richardson, born in bar rooms through countless conversations and many drinks.
The Golden grew from the ambition to operate to the highest standard and offer something fresh and vibrant in Indiana.
The Midwest is the birthplace of The Golden and it belongs to the patrons, farmers, cooks, bartenders, and servers that support the craft of excellent ingredients prepared with creativity, care, and attention to detail.
The Golden is for everyone.
The food at The Golden is made by creative minds that care about where ingredients come from and how each bit of food is handled – from the land where it grew to the table on which it is served.
The drinks at The Golden are stirred and shaken by bartenders that respect the craft of hospitality and the technique of a well made cocktail.
The Golden is fun. The Golden is creative. The Golden is great experiences with friends and family.
Chef / Owner
Sean Richardson has immersed himself in food and food culture—reading it, studying it, and making it his passion.
Sean fell in love with charcuterie and spent a month in France learning the old world ways of curing meat. Dan Barber was an early inspiration, so he traveled to New York to stage at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. He prides himself on the many dollars and hours he’s spent in cities around the world, eating everything he can find, while staying curious about why each bite tastes the way it does.
His mission at The Golden is to continue to learn something every day that expands his knowledge and increases his skills. If you love to eat, love to party, or love to learn, you’ll love Sean.
Chef / Owner
First and foremost, Aaron Butts is a cook. He’s also an avid cyclist, amateur gardener, mediocre Crossfitter, husband to Carmen McGee and father of two young girls, Zoe and Luca.
Aaron has worked alongside culinary giants, Charlie Trotter, Heston Blumenthal, Rick Bayless and Michael Symon just to name a few. Aaron was nominated for the coveted James Beard Award, Best Chef Great Lakes in 2011. He holds the Court of Master Sommeliers certification and graduated top of the class of the Academy of Spirits and Fine Service.
Aaron has been cooking since he was old enough to reach the stove, and he started his professional career while still in high school, He moved through the ranks, starting as a metalhead dishwasher and spending 15 years as Executive Chef at the renowned Joseph Decuis restaurant, where he found his true calling of working with Indiana farmers and bringing their goods to the people and creating innovative dishes in a fine dining atmosphere.
In launching The Golden, he and Sean aspire to offer the highest quality food from trusted farmers in a comfortable environment open to everyone. Aaron is excited to bring this concept to his hometown.
Carmen McGee is an avid Crossfit athlete, she loves working with her husband, Chef Aaron Butts, adores her beautiful daughters, Zoe and Luca, and of course is a lifelong devotee of the restaurant business. Opening The Golden with Aaron and Sean has been a long time dream come true.
Carmen spent the majority of her life honing her career at the prestigious Joseph Decuis Restaurant. She was the General Manager and Wine Sommelier for 15 years and earned several wine spectator awards, oversaw every aspect of the business while in a symbiotic relationship with husband Aaron, who ran the entire back of house and catering operations. They are bringing their A game to The Golden. Pleasing people is in their souls.
Carmen holds a bachelors degree from Indiana University and is certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers. You will often see her reading, drinking French press coffee, drinking rosé wine, and doing bicep curls in the mirror.
Patti Nix is a Fort Wayne native who has returned home after a five year stay in Chicago. She is here with her young family, including a two year old daughter and supportive partner. Patti is no stranger to the world of hospitality, which exceeds over fifteen years of experience. Most recently, she left behind her four year career at the Michelin starred Sepia, in downtown Chicago. She was given the opportunity to work with best in the business, and learn how to properly hone her craft. Having spent time in all aspects of the restaurant, including the kitchen, Patti found her passion behind the bar; where she’s been for ten years. She is incredibly knowledgeable in the world of craft bartending, which has led her to win the coveted NRA Star of the Bar award, and be featured in notable publications. Patti looks forward to providing Fort Wayne with a new standard of bar program.