Sponsored by FareStart
Chefs Roy Breiman and Mark Bodinet have been around the culinary block.
Breiman, a California native, lived in the Bay Area, New York City and France before settling in the Pacific Northwest, and he has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia. Bodinet is a West Coast native who's worked in Arizona, Martha's Vineyard and Napa Valley. These varied experiences have manifested into the award-winning Copperleaf Restaurant at the luxe Cedarbrook Lodge.
"You experience the flavors and styles of each place you go and incorporate the ideas that you enjoy into your own cooking," executive chef Bodinet says.
"The different cultures, different techniques, and the use of superior product from around the world have all contributed to my cooking style today," Breiman, the restaurant's culinary director, notes. "For that, I am grateful."
Through their involvement with FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program that empowers homeless and disadvantaged people, Breiman and Bodinet are able to impart their immense culinary knowledge gained via travels to aspiring chefs who may not have had the privilege of packing up and traversing the globe.
The pair will host Guest Chef Night on December 10 from 5:30 to 8 p.m., wherein FareStart students will produce and present a three-course meal with the help of the two experts. Reservations are recommended and can be booked here.
What was your inspiration to start cooking?
Bodinet: I always enjoyed cooking for my family growing up. In high school, I entered a culinary arts program where I competed for and won a full scholarship to culinary school.
Breiman: I was inspired by creativity, history, tradition, studying a centuries-old craft, and giving back.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Bodinet: Working with the amazing artisans who supply our products and sharing their story with our guests.
Breiman: Creating unique and memorable experiences for people and sharing some of my life’s experiences with others.
Where is one place everyone must visit to experience great food?
Bodinet: There are people crafting beautiful foods everywhere you go. You just have to find them.
Breiman: So many to choose from… France, Italy, Spain, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Seattle, New York and NOLA are all a must!
What is unique about the Pacific Northwest culinary scene?
Bodinet: The accessibility with the farmers, artisans and winemakers, and being able to go in any direction and find great products.
Breiman: Its authentic spirit and superior product selection.
Tell us about your favorite dish(es) at Copperleaf Restaurant.
Bodinet: They are all my favorite. The menu is an evolving collaboration of our inspirations and ideas for each season, so each dish is special in its own way.
Breiman: Every season we offer unique dishes that are an extension of what we are feeling at that time in our lives. This inspiration changes and evolves year after year as we evolve within our craft.
What is your greatest culinary accomplishment?
Bodinet: The friendships made through hard work and the continued collaboration of ideas to provide the best experience for our guests.
Breiman: There’s not one accomplishment in particular, but more a tapestry of life experience that have instilled in me the responsibility of giving back to this craft and others I have met along the way.
What advice would you give to FareStart graduates and other new or aspiring chefs?
Bodinet: Work as hard as you can to find your passion, and be great at what you do.
Breiman: Find your passion, work extremely hard at it, and don’t ever give up until you have accomplished your goals.