Monarch Beach Resort Moments Magazine Issue 6 - Page 42

10 questions A Seasoned Gastronome Executive chef Bryan Brown dishes on what’s cooking at the resort’s newest eatery, Bourbon Steak Orange County, A Michael Mina Restaurant, and his love for the culinary arts. BY ASHLEY PROBST M: Speaking of food, what is your favorite dish on the menu? BB: I’d have to say it would probably be the eye of the rib-eye. It’s kind of an underap- preciated cut: You get the ten- derness of a filet, but the flavor of a rib-eye. Throughout his career, Bryan Brown has helped open five different eateries and helmed the kitchens of Vintana Wine + Dine in San Diego County and Bottega Louie in Los Angeles. Considering this impressive résumé filled with fine dining experience and his passion for sizzling steaks, Brown seems to be made-to-order for the position of executive chef at Bourbon Steak Orange County, A Michael Mina Restaurant. Here, Moments asks Brown to discuss his work at Monarch Beach Resort and how he plans to bring Mina’s vision for Bourbon Steak to fruition. Moments: How did you begin your career as a chef? Bryan Brown: [My] culinary background started before I was actu- ally born. My grandparents opened the first Italian restaurant in San Diego back in the ’40s. … The sec- ond I could see over a counter, I was cooking, helping out in the kitchen [and] rolling cannolis. M: What drew you to this resort? BB: I’ve always wanted to work for Michael Mina … and kind of hit the best of both worlds: a Mina restau- rant and the Monarch [Beach Resort] is just a gorgeous property, too. M: How did you react when you found out you got the job? BB: I got the call while I was at Bottega Louie. I … was trying to 42 MONARCHBEACHRESORT.COM M: The Orange County Register voted Bourbon Steak the best restuarant in OC just two months after your opening. What are your thoughts on that? BB: Accolades are really nice to get, but hanging on to the prestige after that is always the hard part. … You only stay No. 1 for so long, unless you continue pushing, so we have to continue to be better … every single day. hide my excitement and go … on with my day, but… was very stoked when I got it. M: Now that you’re here, what is your favorite thing about the resort? BB: The people … [are] my favor- ite thing. … We really get the cream of the crop. M: How do you plan to manifest Mina’s vision for Bourbon Steak? BB: I think he’s already given me the tools to be successful with a beau- tiful property and … I have a pretty good understanding of what his vision is and where he wants to go, and they’re really in line with what I want to do, so we’re just going to continue putting out really good food and pushing the envelope. M: Is there a direction you’d like to take this restaurant in the long-run? BB: We’re looking at booking some more events outside, maybe do a sunset package so we can take advantage of the beautiful view and stylize the menu around that. M: What do you cook at home? BB: Any chance that I have to open the barbecue, … I love doing salmon, I love doing steaks, I love doing tri-tip; all the fun stuff. M: And what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? BB: (Laughs) There is no spare time; there’s no such thing when you run a restaurant. [But] I hang out with my kids as much as possible.