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Building a Culinary Career One Pizza at a Time

Fans of 7 Kitchens might recognize Brandon Case as “the pizza guy,” since he seems to be slinging, plating, or slicing flatbread-style pizzas.

The nickname is apt.

Brandon, who joined the team just before the buffet opened this spring, recently took over the pizza station and is growing into the new role. Over the course of any given day, he might make anywhere from 50 to 75 pizzas. It’s a time-consuming process, but one he enjoys.

“It’s popular with guests so we need a lot,” he said.

Brandon’s job begins in the kitchen out of view from the public eye, what food-and-beverage people refer to as “back-of-house.” Here, he starts every shift by cleaning his ovens and hand-stretching his pizza dough. All the pizza has to be stretched before Brandon and his fellow chefs can make a pizza.

He plans pizzas for the week every weekend, and always comes up with different recipes he thinks guests will like. Brandon runs his eyes before Chef de Cuisine Dustin Tuthill before making the pizzas.

Recent specials included one pizza featuring fresh squash, and another featuring fresh broccolini.

“I really try to put myself in the guests’ shoes and think about what I would like to eat,” he said. “It usually works out.”

Before coming to Turning Stone, Brandon held service jobs at a variety of other bars and restaurants across Central New York. He said he always wanted to be a line cook, and he was “excited” at the opportunity to work with Dustin.

Brandon added that Dustin and the rest of the 7 Kitchens team trained him to get him ready for his current job. Turning Stone also paid Brandon his full salary during training.

“We have people everywhere who just know so much,” he said. “Every day is a learning experience.”

 

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