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 EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF CHRISTOPHER BRUGMAN
 
BEARD NOMINATION FOR BEST NEW RESTAURANT   

 MOUNTAIN SHADOWS in Paradise Valley, Arizona

[Cooking] is something that's been in my blood for years. Generations. 
 
October 2017 Issue | Vol. 5, No. 16










 



 










 
 
 
 


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Chef de Cuisine
HEARTH '61
PARADISE VALLEY, ARIZONA

ALFRED MURO

 
Executive Pastry Chef
THE BOULDERS
CAREFREE, ARIZONA

KEITH TAYLOR

Executive Sous Chef 
FOUR SEASONS SCOTTSDALE
JOEY CAVARETTA

 
STRANGE CRAFT
BEER COMPANY

with Tim Myers

FOUNDER/HEAD BREWER 





Chef Brugman talks about his home garden on our —


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Southwest Foraging
by John Slattery


     
THE GRILL 
Kitchen & Bar 
THE BOULDERS
Carefree, Arizona

      
Montelobos Mezcal
with Iván Saldaña, PhD.

     
VIVA XXXII Tequila
Democratizing Luxury


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Christopher Brugman | Executive Sous Chef | Mountain Shadows in Paradise Valley, Arizona Christopher Brugman has “seen it all”. Not only because he was born and raised in a city called The Melting Pot. The Los Angeleno experienced a different melting pot called the kitchen, where the refiner’s fire, ideally, separates the dross from solid-gold-skills. Brugman’s refiner? Gordon Ramsey. “To give you a little context,” Brugman explained, “this was way before he had twenty TV shows. I was with Gordon at his signature restaurant in Beverly Hills. The London Hotel in West Hollywood, right on the border. We were doing fine dining. It was a Michelin star restaurant. It was the most intense, frightening, demoralizing, uplifting—all at the same time—experience. Something I’ll never, ever forget.” Brugman’s first memories of the kitchen formed inside the cozy family nest. Food was a big deal: Three meals a day. Family dinner at night. Non-negotiable. “It was about food and love and family,” Brugman described the scene. “Those are the three central-focused components about what our lives were about growing up as kids. I was the only one my mom would ever allow in the kitchen.” The baby of the family, with a fifteen- and an eleven-year-gap between he and his oldest and next siblings, Brugman would take his exclusive seat, the center island, and watch his mom cook for hours. “I was the only one in there,” Brugman reiterated. “I was her little taste-tester. Those are my earliest memories, ever since I could remember.” Since Brugman’s mom “lived” in the kitchen, the little taste-tester, by default, developed a palate. Cooking got into his blood. He worked in “rinky-dink” kitchens in high school, but he didn’t consider cooking as a career. “I took a completely different approach,” Brugman said. “My family was very big on education. Every child had to go to college. I went to USC and got a business degree. I did that and got into real estate a little bit after graduating college. There was a void in my heart and in my soul, and I knew what it was. Like, the whole time I knew what it was. “I always knew that I wanted to do something with food and cooking,” Brugman continued. “It always came so easy for me. I think that’s from all those years watching my mom do it. I always felt like, watching her cook and how she made it so easy, was always the most intriguing thing for me.” After shuttling around a bit in business, Brugman decided to go to culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu in Hollywood, and “fell in love”. “Immediately”. “Like,” Brugman clarified, “right away.”