Given Denver’s restaurant boom, you might say there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen. But earlier this fall, when Christopher Cina of Breckenridge-Wynkoop found himself looking for a new executive chef for the Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery (the previous chef had moved out of state just a few months after the restaurant opened in May), it seemed there still weren’t enough. Where was the chef to run the Farm House, a restaurant that serves up to 1,800 covers a day on weekends?
After stepping in as executive chef for a month and a half while running the search, Cina finally found the right chef for the job: Bronson Thomas Brieske. His background fit the part: a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Brieske has been cooking professionally for more than two decades, including a stint at Brasserie Rouge under John Broening that gave him an eye to seasonal ingredients, which is necessary for this role. But one qualification really caught Cina’s eye. “I wanted to make sure we had a candidate who had quality volume experience,” he says. And Brieske certainly has that, having served most recently as executive sous-chef at the ViewHouse in Centennial.
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Brieske started in mid-October, training under Cina for a week. He recently inaugurated a new brunch program, and also collaborated with Cina on the fall-winter menu that rolls out this morning. Brieske’s fingerprint will be even more noticeable on the next menu update later this winter, but don’t expect any major philosophical differences. “I’m not the type of chef to do my own thoughts,” he says. “I look at reviews and see what [guests] like and don’t like...and try to implement my ideas that streamline with what we’re doing.”