[Press Release] Big Rock Chophouse’s Executive Chef, Brian Henson, named MCCA Chef of the Year

(Birmingham, Mich. September 5, 2012) – Big Rock Chophouse’s Executive Chef, Brian Henson was named Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation’s Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association.

This year’s MCCA Chef of the Year Cooking Competition was held at the Country Club of Detroit on Monday, July 2, 2012. The winner was announced at the 37th annual Chef of the Year Awards Gala held at the Country Club of Detroit hosted by Brian Beland, CMC last Monday, August 27, 2012. Each competitor was given one whole Arctic Char and 1.5 hours to develop four identical entree plates. The competing chefs were Brian Henson, Executive Chef, Big Rock Chophouse, Kevin Peasgood, CEC, Executive Chef, Bloomfield Open Hunt Club, and David Daniot, CEC, Executive Chef, Edgewood Country Club. Big Rock Chophouse’s Executive Chef, Brian Henson’s award-winning entrée included Arctic Char with Smoked Char Pierogi, served with Golden Beet Sour Cream, Chanterelles, Fennel, and Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette.

The American Culinary Federation Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Chef of the Year was created and first awarded in 1975. There have been 32 different prior recipients. The award is earned through accomplishments and competition. Qualified candidates are nominated by their peers based on their personal and professional skills, accomplishments, contributions to the MCCA chapter and industry, and leadership and mentorship of future professionals. Candidates must then compete demonstrating their culinary skills and proficiency with the other candidates.

“I’m very honored to be recognized with this prestigious distinction in front of all of my peers and previous MCCA Chef of the Year award winners,” said Brian Henson, Executive Chef at Big Rock Chophouse. “Receiving this award this year is even more special for me because this is the first year the Chef of the Year award was turned into a cooking competition and earning an award that honors our culinary godfather, Milos Cilhelka, CMC, AAC is one of every Michigan chefs’ ultimate goals.”

Blending together more than 20 years of experience at several renowned restaurants, Brian Henson is perfectly suited for the high-energy atmosphere at Birmingham’s Big Rock Chophouse. He was named Executive Chef at the restaurant in August 2008. He oversees a staff of 25 and is responsible for all aspects of the kitchen including training, purchasing, special events and most importantly, creating the restaurant’s 4-star, award-winning menu. In 2010, he received the Level 1 Sommelier distinction, from the Court of Master Sommeliers. He also serves as Treasurer for the MCCA.

The Michigan Chefs de Cuisine was founded in 1970 by Certified Master Chef Milos Cihelka, whose vision it was to create one of the most prestigious chef’s associations in the nation.  Today, the Chapter consists of over 480 members.  Chef Milos, now semi-retired but still teaching, was the chef/co-owner and proprietor of the renowned Golden Mushroom Restaurant in Southfield, Michigan,

The Chef of the Year trophy is a bronze cast of Chef Milos and is currently on display at Big Rock Chophouse. It’s engraved with all previous winners’ names and will be showcased at the restaurant over the next year.

Big Rock Chophouse is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight and closed on Sundays.

Big Rock Chophouse combines the rustic, casual feel of a mountain lodge with the high-energy electricity of a contemporary club, providing an eclectic mix unlike any other dining experience in Metro Detroit. The restaurant recently opened Got Rocks, A Diamond Crown Cigar Lounge, located upstairs from Big Rock Chophouse’s main dining room.  For more information on upcoming events or to make reservations, call 248.647.7774 or visit us online at www.bigrockchophouse.com.

A Chef Henson original.

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