Blog: Chefs

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TASTE Restaurant Pasty Chef Lucy Damkoehler speaks with the Chef’s Collaborative about her doughnuts Lucy Damkoehler began baking way back in fifth grade, when she would help her father knead and shape dough for bread as a hobby. She’s now a distinguished pastry chef for Bon Appétit Management Company’s TASTE Restaurant in Seattle, where her desserts have captured the hearts and bellies of restaurant diners far and wide, including my own. A few weeks ago, Lucy presented her latest doughnuts to a room full of chefs, farmers, and good food lovers at the Seattle Chef’s Collaborative Bakers’ Meet and Greet. Doughnuts cannot feign being a health food, but making them can be healthy for the community if the ingredients come from local, sustainable producers. Like the rest of the TASTE team (and Bon Appétit companywide), Lucy goes all-out to celebrate […]

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By Toni Ansuini, General Manager, Brocade Brocade Executive Chef Ryan Smith explains the fine arts of butchering a chicken.  Bon Appétit chefs are not only skilled at cooking from scratch and using all parts of the animals, they believe in sharing that knowledge. At Brocade in San Jose, CA, Executive Chef Ryan Smith recently led a culinary demonstration and class on classic culinary techniques of butchering for 25 guests. Butchery has become popular again as more people want to be assured of their food supply chain. The benefits of butchering meat at home include knowing the direct source of the meat and reducing risk of contamination from processing. But even dividing a whole chicken into breasts and thighs can be intimidating to people, so this was a chance for the audience to learn the necessary skills.  Ryan demonstrated how to […]

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Something magical is happening at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH. No matter how small or dark or drafty the location, the vegetables and herbs planted by Bon Appétit Sous Chef Chris Brunst just keep growing and growing, producing food for Dascomb Café.

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Executive Pastry Chef Ian Farrell (right) was first bitten by the sourdough bug about five years ago, when he grew a wild yeast starter from the skins of organic grapes. Now he lives his passion for hand-crafted wild yeast breads daily at Oracle in Redwood Shores, CA. Almost all the breads, sourdough or otherwise, for every café on this campus are made from scratch daily at the Oracle Bakery.

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By Cara Brechler, Marketing Manager In the early fifth century, when some monks were busy inventing Shaolin Kung Fu, other German monks took a vow of deliciousness instead and created the pretzel. Last week, in honor of National Pretzel Day, the chefs de cuisine at one of our Silicon Valley campuses celebrated this humble concoction with freshly baked twists as well as crusts and breading using the dough, bringing the pretzel to new dimensions of tastiness. Kevin Means at the Paradise Café offered a pretzel-encrusted pork loin, a bratwurst dog in a pretzel bun, and freshly made warm pretzels sprinkled with a Tuscan-infused salt (rosemary, chili pepper, lemon, and garlic). Over at Café 17, Octavio Barrera had a line all through service for his Pork Loin Schnitzel with creamy whole-grain mustard gravy. Jorien Schulze from Lakeview Café made fresh pretzels with two dipping […]

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By Carolina Fojo, East Coast Fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation   “I love a good competition!” With these words, Cristin Ashmankas entered herself into a Bon Appétit Sustainable Cooking Challenge at Lesley University, where she is an assistant professor in the earth science, natural sciences, and mathematics department. Cristin grew up in a family of great cooks and says she is known among her friends (her “test subjects”) for her culinary experiments and what has become known as “Cristin’s secret ingredient.” The day of the event, Cristin arrived wearing a cupcake-dappled apron and a big grin. Her competitor was Diego Mejia, a Bon Appétit cook at Lesley University. Born in México, Diego spent most of his childhood eating his mother’s savory dishes of tortillas and beans, tomatillo and mole sauces. After arriving in the U.S., he started working for […]

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By Helene York, Director, Strategic Initiatives Above: Grilled radicchio, three kinds of local potatoes, and spigarelli broccoli. It’s a rare Saturday when I get my bones out of bed at 5:45 a.m. or anything close to that. But last weekend was Bon Appétit's semi-annual Northern California Chefs Exchange, where 40 to 50 really talented chefs get together to learn, laugh, and do what they do best: cook great food from scratch. The aromatic, house-made chai at Cisco Systems in San Jose helped start the morning off nicely. Photo by Cara Brechle Then, Santa Clara University Chef David Anderson (above) gave a terrific tutorial on how to carve a 200-pound pig. He had sourced the pig from a local farm, Douglas Ranch outside of Hollister, CA, and was determined to let everyone know that only 2 pounds – just 1 percent […]

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The students at Washington University in St. Louis have never had a sweeter Valentine’s Day.
Famous pastry chef Jim Dodge, Bon Appétit’s director of culinary programs, visited Wash U for two very special Valentine’s Day collaborations with the university’s pastry chef Starr Murphy.

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The epic blizzard of 2011 will not be forgotten anytime soon in at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. A night of record snowfall meant Operations Manager Janice Moore spent a harrowing hour driving just eight blocks to work the next morning, only to find the front entrance completely blocked.