Bill Bronchick is a caterer and private chef in Denver, Colorado. He got an early start in the culinary world by working in his grandparents’ barbecue restaurant in Texas. In high school, his teachers encouraged him to attend a traditional university, but Bronchick was determined to go to culinary school. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, where he excelled. He studied abroad in France and Thailand, giving his cooking an international flair.
A summer internship in a restaurant in Denver inspired him to move to the city after graduation. After working in a few other restaurants, he decided that he wanted to start his own private chef business. His private chef business started small, but he quickly gained clients as his reputation spread. After a few years working solo as a private chef, he decided to expand his business into catering larger events. He hired a skilled and dedicated staff to help him achieve his dreams.
For a few years, he put all his profits back into the business. He quickly gained notoriety for his creative cuisine and for the quality of his staff. Currently, Bill Bronchick caters large events for charities and celebrities, including famous sports figures. He also caters intimate dinner parties. He continues to offer private chef services as well.
1. What inspired you to get into the culinary field?
My grandparents inspired me to get into the culinary field. They owned a popular barbecue restaurant near San Antonio. I worked in the kitchen and at the barbecue pits with my grandfather. I learned the basics of running a successful restaurant and catering business when I was still a teenager. My grandparents have passed on, but I believe they would be proud of my success.
2. Who were your mentors when you were first starting out?
One of my culinary school professors was very supportive. She saw my talent and encouraged me to go into business for myself. After graduation, I worked for one of her friends in Denver. While I didn’t really feel at home in a restaurant kitchen, I spent time there honing my craft.
3. Tell me about your culinary inspirations.
When I went to culinary school, I had an amazing experience studying in France and Thailand. I learned some of the classic dishes in each country. Travel was eye-opening to me as well. I’d never been out of the American West before I traveled to France. It was a culture shock to me, but it was thrilling. I also love Japanese cuisine, but I haven’t yet been to Japan.
4. Would you ever consider relocating your business to another part of the country?
Building a reputation as a caterer takes time. I believe I would have a difficult time starting over in a new city. I also wouldn’t want to leave my current clients and staff behind.
5. What are some of the keys to success in the catering industry?
The first key to success is producing quality food. It takes some practice to manage cooking in such large quantities, and you must adapt some of your dishes to scale them up. Not every fine dining dish works in a catering setting. The second key is hiring the most competent staff you can find. Your guests may never meet you, but they will spend a lot of time with your staff.
Make sure that all your employees feel supported and appreciated, and you’ll find that you have a much easier time with management. There’s nothing worse for a business than dissatisfied employees, especially in the front of the house.
6. Do you consider yourself successful?
Absolutely. I am working in my dream job and making a good living. I have built a solid business for myself, and I feel like I am doing good work in the community. I give back by hosting charity events at cost.
7. What motivates you?
My guests’ and clients’ satisfaction motivate me. Also, the spirit of exploration motivates me. I love to travel and bring back new dishes. Recently, I traveled to Morocco and experienced the food culture firsthand. I brought back a chicken tagine dish that has become very popular in my business.
8. What do you do in your spare time?
I love to ski. I spend many winter weekends and holidays in Aspen, where I have a condo. I also enjoy adventure travel around the United States and abroad. I’m hoping to take a trip to Alaska this summer and go out on a fishing charter. I also love to read. My life is fast-paced and can be stressful and reading gives me some much-needed quiet time.