Christopher Brugman is the Executive Sous Chef at the new Mountain Shadows resort in Paradise Valley. Originally from Los Angeles, Chris has followed his culinary passion and landed his largest role at arguably one of the hottest new spots in town. Learn more about Chef Christopher Brugman….
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
First job: My first job was at In-N-Out when I was 16. Did I love peeling potatoes for six hours a day? No. But the free double doubles sure helped.
Favorite AZ restaurant: Virtu Honest Craft – I just love Chef Gio Osso’s approach to his cuisine. He takes pristine ingredients and elevates them in a way that creates an incredible balance of flavors. His food is simple, yet elegant and always crazy delicious.
Person who has impacted your life the most: My parents without question. They have always pushed me to become the best version of myself and always supported me through all of life’s challenges. They instilled a self-confidence in me that always made me feel like anything was attainable. I feel truly blessed to have had that kind of guidance and love, my parents have always been my biggest fans.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: Opening Mountain Shadows and Hearth ’61 was by far the toughest thing I have done in my career to date. I was living at the hotel, working around the clock to get my restaurant up and running. It was incredibly challenging, but also more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: I think getting through the early years as a young cook working in tough Michelin starred kitchens in Los Angeles would definitely take the prize. The stress, impossibly long hours and verbal abuse was almost unbearable at times. However, looking back at it all now my ability to endure that phase of my life and come out on the other side is precisely why I’ve made it to where I am today. I wouldn’t trade in those experiences for anything and I hold them very close to my heart.
Someone who inspires you: I always found inspiration in unexpected places throughout my life. But it wasn’t until I met my wife, Jill, that I truly felt inspired to live my life to the fullest every single day. She is the hardest working person I know and she challenges me every day to be at my absolute best, not just in my career, but as a friend, a partner and as a husband.
Favorite quote: “The only person you are destined to become is the person that you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Be committed to your craft! The rule of 10,000 truly applies to what we do as cooks and as chefs, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t see immediate results. And always, always, always BE HUMBLE.
What makes someone fabulous: Having the dedication, fortitude and humility to be the absolute best person YOU can possibly be.