Zack Bruell, Chef Consultant, The Burnham RestauranT
More than 30 years ago, Cleveland Magazine credited chef and restaurateur Zack Bruell with introducing the area to an emerging west-coast trend of bistro dining and fusion cuisine. Bruell brought the concept from his work with famed chef Michael McCarty of the landmark eatery, Michael’s Santa Monica—a restaurant recognized for influencing dining attitudes throughout North America with its California nouvelle cui-sine. Bruell imported the new style to Cleveland, where he opened Z Contemporary Cuisine in Shaker Heights in the early 1980s. Although he eventually sold Z, Bruell’s fans did not forget him. He got back into the game in 2004 with the opening of Parallax in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. In only eight years, Bruell opened four more fine dining restaurants: Table 45 at the InterContinental Cleveland, L’Albatros, Chinato and Cowell & Hubbard. In 2013, Bruell also opened DYNOMITE—his first fast casual concept. Today, Bruell is the only restaurateur in Cleveland to have ten successful establishments within the city limits, plus a restaurant-style catering and events company, Zack Bruell Events. In addition, Bruell recently created and debuted a full line of gourmet coffees, Zack’s Brews, as well as Zack Bruell Olive Oil, 100% Extra Virgin, and Zack Bruell Balsamic Vinegars and signature sauces. All Zack Bruell products are sold at Heinen’s and Fishers Foods stores in Northeast Ohio.
JUSTIN OFANDISKI, CHEF DE CUISINE, THE BURNHAM RESTAURANT
Justin Ofandiski is a native Ohioan who learned to love food from an early age and began his culinary education peeling and chopping alongside his grandmother. In 2004, he received his Culinary of Arts Associate Degree from Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina. He began his professional career as a cook for the Embassy Suites in Charleston where he oversaw the naval academy graduation and other large-scale events up to 4,000 people. Justin returned to Ohio and continued his professional education as Kitchen Manager and Sous Chef at 9 Bistros at Grey Hawk, a public golf course located in Lagrange and Kitchen Manager at Redtail Country Club in Avon frequented by Cleveland sports elite. Most recently, Justin worked as Sous Chef and Executive Chef at Dante Restaurant on Cleveland’s west side. He loves cooking the recipes he learned from his mother such as cabbage and noodles and chicken paprikash. Justin is passionate about continued culinary education and is a substitute teacher and guest judge at the Lorain county JVS vocational school’s culinary program.
CHRISTOPHER KOCSIS, SOUS CHEF, THE BURNHAM RESTAURANT
Kocsis, a native Ohioan from Painesville, graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 2007 with an Associates Graduate Culinary Arts degree and in 2009 received his Bachelors in Hospitality Management. He worked throughout the Cleveland metro area at Moxie in Beachwood, Esquire’s runner up for best new restaurant, several of Zack Bruell’s restaurants including L'Albatros Brasserie, Chinato, and Parallax, and most recently as Sous Chef at the Country Club in Pepper Pike. Kocsis brings a diverse palate pulled from many cultures and is constantly striving to incorporate new flavors and provide an enjoyable dining experience to be savored.
Andrew Watts, General Manager, The Burnham Restaurant
Andrew Watts brings 20 years of Cleveland Food and Beverage experience. He began his career at The Velvet Dog as a bar-back and ascended to General Manager and Marketing Director. He then signed on with Driftwood Restaurant Group and opened three restaurants in 18 months in Playhouse Square – Cibreo, Bin-216 and President’s Club and became General Manager of both BIN-216 and President’s Club. Most recently, Watts was General Manager of Jonathan Sawyer’s flagship restaurant, The Greenhouse Tavern which, during his tenure, received a James Beard Award.