For a chef who got into the restaurant business on a whim, Adam Branz has certainly made a name for himself.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Branz was raised in Breese, Illinois, a small town just east of Saint Louis and has spent most of his life in the Midwest and Mountain West. He attended Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois before moving to Le Cordon Bleu St. Louis and graduating at the top of his class.
Branz and his wife Lauren moved to Denver so she could attend law school at The University of Denver. He has worked in the three restaurants owned by James Beard Best Chef Southwest Jennifer Jasinski and her business partner Beth Gruitch with stints at Euclid Hall and Rioja before settling in at Bistro Vendôme where he was named chef de cuisine in 2014. Later 2017 will find Branz in the kitchen at the new Ultreia in Denver’s Historic Union Station featuring the foods of Spain and Portugal.
Branz attributes this experience and stages with Corey Lee at Benu in San Francisco and various kitchens in Oregon, Missouri and Denver as providing a foundation to his success as a chef. His culinary inspirations come from those he has worked with such as Chef Jen and Jorel Pierce, Gabriel Rucker and Corey Lee and those he would love to someday cook with - Daniel Boulud, Michael Ruhlman and Joël Robuchon. Branz cites Rucker’s Le Pigeon as a favorite cookbook demonstrating playful interpretations of French cuisine.
After shift, you’ll find Branz at Nallens, a local Irish pub just a block from Bistro Vendôme. On his days off, you might try Lao Wang Noodle House where he (and everyone else in Denver) enjoys the Xiao Long Bao dumplings. During his time in the Mile High City he’s come to love the weather, great people and it’s proximity to the mountains. He lives in south Denver with his wife Lauren, their two children Bella and Arlo and their two pups, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, an English bulldog and Miles, a puggle.