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Our Executive Chef ~ Michael Bruno

Executive Chef Michael Bruno chose his career path very early — he was only ten years old. As with many young boys, he had considered becoming a police officer because he wanted to catch the bad guys, but fate had something else in mind. Michael grew up in Etobicoke and one day found a torn up old Betty Crocker cookbook and with half of it missing, the first page featured a recipe for Curry Tuna Salad. He set out to the kitchen to make it and enjoyed the satisfaction of sharing a meal with his parents and brother and sister. Michael’s parents encouraged his new interest, so many configurations of tuna salad were created until he decided to turn the page and try other recipes.

In Grade 8, most thirteen-year-old boys are trying to get the attention of the girl sitting next to them in class. Turns out, this girl’s father had just purchased a bar so Michael asked if he could work for him. Perhaps this got the girl’s attention, but we will never know as Michael’s focus was all work. For two days a week he worked as a Bus Boy and assisted the cook, Richard. This could be youthful imagination, but Michael describes Richard as seven feet tall, skinny with the longest black hair he had ever seen. One particularly busy evening during Two Cent Wing Night, baseball teams packed the bar.

Unfortunately, Richard had badly cut himself in the kitchen but luckily Michael stepped up and followed Richard’s orders to save the day and he continued to work there until the seasoned age of fifteen. During his latter years of high school in a Food Preparation course at Lakeshore Collegiate, Skills Canada was encouraging trades among Canadian youth through regional, provincial and Canada-wide skills competitions. Michael won two years in a row for the region of Etobicoke and two years in a row for the province of Ontario. He went on to experience the challenge of the Canada-wide competition, placing 7th across the country.

In his last year of high school, seventeen-year-old Michael continued his pinpoint focus on becoming a chef. He completed the Cooperative Program hours at the landmark Old Mill in Toronto and over the next four years added the college-level apprenticeship hours earning the rank of Junior Sous Chef. As a student of the three-year Apprenticeship Program at Humber College, he was required to log 6000 field hours; a seven day a week commitment of two days of school followed by five days of work. No doubt, this grueling schedule was intended to allow the cream to rise to the top.

Trained and 21, with an urge to spread his wings, he joined the staff of the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club, a facility boasting a dining room overlooking the skating rink where members could watch skating legend, Elvis Stojko train. Four years later, an opportunity for Sous Chef of Woodbine Race Track was undertaken but only for a short time for the General Manager of The Old Mill saw his resume for Restaurant Chef and immediately re-hired him. There he remained for two years when a unique opportunity arose.

For the next ten years Michael worked alongside owner Peter Bochna at Absolutely Fine Foods where he not only prepared fine gourmet foods for the store-front but also had the good fortune to cater personal parties and large-scale events in exclusive spaces including The Carlu and The Maple Leaf Centre. Add to this, private airline in-flight catering services with gourmet meals for the jet-set and upscale events including The Toronto Film Festival. However, for Michael, he is most proud of the butchery skills honed through Peter’s grasp of the true and timeless art of butchery. Peter has ruefully remarked that “no one is teaching the younger generation how to be true butchers…I’m trying to teach my staff how to coax the best flavour and texture from meat at every stage.” As a result, Michael has spent half of his time honing the skill of butchery and meat aging techniques, skills he is looking forward to applying here at BGCC.

Check out our Facebook photo album featuring some delicious food shots!

Check out our Testimonials page and notice how the food added to the delight of the day for our Brides and Grooms. Special diet considerations are easily accommodated by Chef Bruno and his team....

"July 27,2013 was our perfect day. Together with our families and friends we celebrated our marriage at The Burlington Golf & Country Club. Everything went perfectly thanks to all of the planning and detail put into our day on their end (especially Jacquie's)! The food was so amazing and accommodating, as I have a gluten allergy, so our entire meal was made gluten free. The Leek & Potato soup was the best I have ever had, followed by a fresh salad and beef and chicken with potatoes and vegetables. Our dessert was a kiwi meringue and exceeded ours and our guests expectations. Thank you for providing a wonderful venue, meal and service! "
- Andrea and David Daly