Feature Stories

Fall 2003

Chef Dennis Brask’s Journey

The journey of Five Crown’s executive chef Dennis Brask from engineering student to executive chef.

Dennis Brask preparing one of his signature dishes, smoked salmon canapes. Dennis Brask preparing one of his signature dishes, smoked salmon canapes.

The next time you visit the Five Crowns, we hope you’ll take a moment to look at the awards that line its lobby walls. The man behind many of them is Dennis Brask, the executive chef at our Corona del Mar, CA restaurant for the last 15 years.

Dennis doesn’t bear much resemblance to the imperious, temperamental chefs you see portrayed in movies and on TV. He’s a mellow kind of guy, who guides his kitchen staff of 20 with professionalism and gentle good humor, and reserves his passion for the things that really count: his quest to locate the finest ingredients (like salmon from an exceptionally high-quality smokehouse in Holland, wild aspara­gus from France and fresh porcini mushrooms from Colorado) and transform them into deliciously innov­ative dishes.

It’s a skill and a passion he has honed through many years of cooking.

It wasn’t long before he decided cooking was a lot more fun than studying engi­neering.

Dennis took his first restaurant job to help put himself through college as an engineering student at the University of Minnesota. It wasn’t long before he decided cooking was a lot more fun than studying engi­neering. For the next several years, he worked in hotels, learning from German, Austrian and other European chefs in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

His career as an executive chef began at the Marc Plaza Hotel (now the Hilton Milwaukee City Center) and carried on through the Playboy and Inter-Continental Hotel Groups. When he joined the Five Crowns, our restaurant was looking for a chef who could broaden and liven up its core menu of favorites with exciting new seasonal dishes. Dennis was definitely the man for the job.

Along the way, he has earned the approval of thousands of guests and dozens of culinary honors from far and near. In 2001, he was inducted into the Chaine des Rotisseurs, the prestigious interna­tional society of the world’s top culinarians. His latest award came this summer when he was named Chef of the Year by the Orange County Business Journal.

professionalism and gentle good humor

Although he spends many hours in our kitchen, Dennis finds time to volunteer in his community, actively supporting Share Our Selves. representing the Five Crowns at the Taste of Newport and the Christmas Company and helping to prepare Christmas dinner for the Orange County Interfaith Shelter.

His work at the Five Crowns also brought love into Dennis’ life. His wife, Margo, is the restaurant’s sales and marketing manager. They live in nearby Laguna Beach, and when they’re at home, Margo is happy to say, Dennis does all the cooking.

Five Crowns

3801 East Coast Hwy, Corona del Mar, CA 92625

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