Washington State Chef's
Member Spotlight - November 2010
Walter Bronowitz CCC, CCE, AAC
Walter began cooking professionally in his native Connecticut, which eventually lead him the Culinary Institute of America, from which he graduated in 1972. He went on to work in several regional cuisine restaurants on the Connecticut shoreline and then ran contract food service for a multi-branch company in Hartford, Ct. In 1976 he arrived in Seattle to begin working in this areas restaurants, clubs, and hotels.
Walter’s cooking style is to take the structure of the classic French and build the regional ingredients and ethnic influences of the Northwest on it, to adapt and create dishes which have a flavor profile of the diversity of the Northwest, but still make culinary sense.
He has served on the National Board of Directors for the ACF for eight consecutive years in two elected positions. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) is the national organization of professional chefs and cooks. He was the Western Regional Vice President from 2001 – 2005 and National Secretary from 2005 – 2009. He has previously served on the ACF Bylaws committee and was ACF National Certification Chair. In 1995 he was awarded an ACF PRESIDENTIAL MEDALLION by then President John Folse, Walter has since been awarded three additional ACF Presidential Medallions over the years.
Walter is also a member of the ACF/Washington State Chefs’ Association (A.C.F/W.S.C.A). The A.C.F./W.S.C.A. is the Seattle local chapter of the American Culinary Federation. At over three hundred members, the ACF/W.S.C.A. is one of the largest of the A.C.F.’s two hundred and sixty three chapters nationally. Walter has served on the Board of Directors for of the W.S.C.A. for more than twelve years, has served four terms as President and was named as the chapter’s CHEF OF THE YEAR for 1987. This award is given for dedication to the profession and the food service community. He is currently a Trustee of the Chapter.
At the 1996 ACF national convention in San Antonio, Tx., Walter was inducted to the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF CHEFS (AAC). The Academy is the honor society of the ACF and to be accepted, certified chefs must have met a lengthy set of criteria, plus be sponsored by two current members of the Academy. In October of 2000 he was presented a distinguished Service Award in recognition of his valuable contribution, distinguished service and enhancing the culinary profession by his leadership.
Walter currently is Executive Chef at Seattle Children’s Hospital. In this position he oversees a staff of eighty with the assistance of his four supervisors (sous chefs), together they operate a catering division, a staff and patient family café and patient feeding for this 250 bed facility. Walter’s direct responsibilities include recipe and menu development, nutritional oversight of all food served, sales and financial oversight, supervision and development of the cook staff, new product research, equipment purchasing and is a major contributor towards the future ten million dollar renovation of his facilities.
He has worked on the Board of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIFW) as their scholarship chair and to bring national education programs to the Seattle area and as a result was a guest of honor at their May 1995 luncheon with Julia Child. Walter was one of the organizers of the Symposium on Taste and Health, held at the Salish Lodge in 1994. This conference was part of a nationwide ongoing effort sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) to raise the American conscious to understand the above issues.
Walter taught culinary education in the Seattle area for over twenty years and has earned the titles Certified Chef d’ Cuisine and Certified Culinary Educator from the A.C.F. He is also past President of the WASHINGTON STATE FOOD SERVICE EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION
(W.F.S.E.A.), a then subsection of the WASHINGTON VOCATIONAL ASSOCIATION. W.F.S.E.A. is made up of professional educators of food service for high schools, community colleges, and vocational colleges in the state of Washington. He has also contributed to several cookbooks and text books with either recipes or as a contributing editor.
His awards include three time medal winner in Professional Hot Seafood Competition at the annual Shelton Oysterfest, held each October in Shelton, WA. First Place Winner 1994 in the Bean Education Network’s, National Bean Recipe Contest – Professional Entree Category, for his Black-eyed Peas and Chinese Greens recipe, and ACF BRONZE MEDAL from the ACF/WSCA International Culinary Salon Hot Food Competition in April of 1995.
Walter is also active in the food community serving as a judge for many various cooking competitions, including; ACF Apprenticeship graduations, Shelton Oysterfest Amateur and Professional Hot Seafood Competition, Sequim Wa. Rotary Professional Chowder Off, American Chili Society competitions, Washington State Oyster Olympics, and the Bite of Seattle.
During Walter’s time as Culinary Department Director at Edmonds Community College, he participated in the first U.S./SOVIET culinary arts student exchange. This exchange brought students and staff of Leningrad Cooking School #131 to the Edmonds campus in September of 1989. In June of 1990 the Culinary Arts staff, students and program supporters went to Leningrad(now St. Petersburg) and participated in programs at Cooking School #131.
His community service efforts are numerous. He has worked on many events in organizational capacities, food and cooking demonstrations and classes, and cooking contests. Organizations include, American Society for Healthcare Food Service Executives (ASHFSA), Slow Food, Alzheimers Foundation, March of Dimes, Chef and Child Foundation, Rotary Clubs, Pike Place Market Foundation, Taste of Washington Farms, Pacific North West Conference on Food and Wine, Everett Public Schools, Common Meals and the American Heart Association.
View his favorite recipe below…
NORTH WEST OYSTER STEW
Yield: Makes 6 portions
- small non-stick sauté pans w/lids
- .5 lbs whole butter – room temp
- 1.5T green chilies (Serrano, jalapeno) – minced
- 2T garlic – minced
- 6T Shallot – fine chop
- 6 oz EP leek – brunoise
- 9 oz Poblano Chili – roasted, peeled, seeded, puree
- 3 T coriander seed – toasted, ground
- 5-6 each per person – shucked oysters
- to taste – Worcestershire
- 1 pt thin fish veloute
- 1 Qt 1C reduced cream
- lemon juice
- Pasta Bowls
- .25c chopped parsley
- .5 each red pepper – into curls, one day ahead
Prepartion Method, 1 Portion:
- to pan ADD>> whole butter
- place on burner, ADD>> chilies
- DO NOT BROWN BUTTER
- when butter begins to foam, ADD>> garlic, shallot, leek, Poblano puree, coriander
- toss together, mix well
- ADD>> oysters, Worcestershire, Tabasco
- bring to simmer
- ADD>> fish veloute
- return to fast simmer
- reduce and toss
- ADD>> reduced cream
- return to low simmer
- check oyster for doneness
- adjust seasonings
- pour into PASTA BOWL arrange oysters
- Garnish with chopped parsley and red pepper curls