Things have been moving fast around here since we opened our new brick and mortar, Petit Poutinerie. There have been lots of changes (in case you didn’t notice)! That includes lots of new faces. So, without further adieu, allow us to introduce our new Kitchen Manager, Brandon Santpree!
A native of Rochester, Brandon joined the pouteam late last summer when Lizzie & Ronnie were searching for the last puzzle piece to get Petit Poutinerie up and running. Although he hadn’t stepped foot on a food truck, he had the experience and creativity to help make our new menu a delicious reality.
As a young cook, Brandon worked around town at places like the Woodcliff Lodge and Del Monte Spa, before moving to NYC for culinary school. He spent 7 years in NYC working in a lot of environments including restaurants, high-end catering and cooking on a yacht (right?). He even did a little stint as an extra on the Food Network. From there he moved to LA, where he consulted for a few hotels, got to know the seasonal markets and then ended his time there as a wholesale baker and pasta maker. Eventually, work brought him back east to help open a 10 room lodge in the Hudson Valley.
Brandon came back home to Rochester to ride out the Covid wave in 2020, and spent the summer traveling. Everything fell into place when Brandon met with co-owners Ronnie and Liz—a connection that came through a mutual friend. It was not too long after a “moonlighter” shift on the truck, that he sat down to talk with the Poutine Queens about their expansion plans. Brandon says his role as Kitchen Manager has evolved as the restaurant went from dreams to reality.
“I do many things including writing and refining recipes, labor and ingredient costing, arranging the kitchen/cleaning/storage flow, hanging shelves, painting floors, rebuilding the mixer, being the “bad cop” with purveyors, and just generally keeping the wheels on the ground. Also LOTS of dishes!”
Brandon has a lot of loves beside poutine, including fixing and riding his bike all over town, spinning records, hiking to killer views, and road trips with the windows down and the music all the way up. He also loves making his own white bread and bagels.
Favorite Menu Item: Hands down, the best menu item is the sloppy nachos. Not enough people know about them yet, but damn they turned out well! The nachos have a chaotic description, and you wouldn’t think sloppy joe sauce, cilantro, ranch, and pickled peppers would come together so well, but I’m here to tell you THEY DO!
All time favorite Job ever: Bub and Grandma’s Bakery (LA). They fostered a fantastic team of people who were always willing to help each other. It really showed me a new way of thinking about teamwork and even food production. It was also very nice to watch the sun come up from the oven in the morning, in a cloud of fresh sourdough steam with loud music playing.