After purchasing and rebranding Fiddler's Restaurant as Chris's American Restaurant in 1990, Chris Bruno owned and worked as a chef at the Brookfield, Connecticut, eatery for nearly 20 years. Prior to his time with Chris's American Restaurant, Bruno graduated from the culinary program at Johnson and Wales University.
The internationally recognized Johnson and Wales University College of Culinary Arts provides students with a variety of degree options, each emphasizing different aspects of the culinary profession. All degrees promote the use of modern culinary techniques and a dedication to technical excellence. Undergraduates at the Rhode Island campus can choose from degree programs such as Culinary Arts and Culinary Nutrition, as well as associate’s and bachelor’s programs in Baking and Pastry Arts.
Johnson and Wales University also provides students with opportunities for continuing education. The continued associate of science in Baking and Pastry Arts program has set the academic standard when it comes to techniques for creating artisan breads and various desserts and pastries. Students can additionally pursue continued education in the college's Culinary Arts program.
Offering a progressive American menu in an inviting atmosphere, Chris's American Restaurant achieved success in Brookfield, Connecticut, under the leadership of owner Chris Bruno. Bruno also worked with the nonprofit Family and Children's Aid (FCA), leading Chris's American Restaurant in its support of the organization’s efforts to provide mental health care for children and families.
Among its many programs and services, FCA maintains the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services (IICAPS) program to deliver in-home mental health care to families over the course of six months. The treatment program works with families who need help in the home caring for a child with a psychiatric disorder. Created by the Yale Child Study Center, the program uses a community-based treatment approach with a clinical team that provides in-home services multiple times per week.
IICAPS is designed for children who need more support than provided in a typical outpatient treatment program and for children who have experienced, or are at risk of, hospitalization or residential treatment. During the six-month program, the clinical team partners with the family, the child, and the school system to stabilize the child at home.
Chris Bruno acquired Fiddler’s Restaurant Brookfield, CT, then known as Chris's American Restaurant, in 1990 and transformed in into the highest-grossing restaurant in Connecticut for several years. Before attaining its status as a premier hub for wining, dining, and socializing, Fiddler’s Restaurant (Chris's American Restaurant) Brookfield first had to be approve for a liquor license from the Connecticut authorities.
Restaurant liquor license application in Connecticut is a tedious task involving plenty of paperwork. Before applying for a liquor license, applicants must first file an application with the Liquor Control Commission. The application forms require in-depth information about the applicant, the premises, and its owners. All this of information must be provided in proper wording.
Requisite details about the premises include its size, sketches of the premises, indoor and outdoor pictures, a proposed menu, and a list of equipment. Details on the owner must include age, pertinent biographical information, and any criminal record, including all previous federal, state and municipal convictions. If the applicant is a business, its entity information, including a certificate of existence, must be provided.
Once the application is correctly filled out, it is submitted to the Liquor Control Commission, which issues the applicant with a placard that must be affixed on the premises’ window. A sign disclosing the application for licensing must also be displayed and a notice placed twice in the local newspapers indicating the same. These notifications allow for community stakeholder participation in the licensing.
Failure to follow these rules will result in the delayed issuing of a licensing certificate.
Restaurateur Chris Bruno owned and operated Chris’s American Restaurant from 1990 to 2010. Formerly known as Fiddler’s Restaurant in Brookfield, Connecticut, Bruno changed the name to Chris’s American Restaurant in 2003 as a nod to the restaurant’s American cuisine. A former chef, Bruno purchased the restaurant at the age of 24.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when opening a new restaurant.
Do a little homework – It is advisable to conduct a little research regarding the area prior to establishing the restaurant. Knowing in advance whether or not customers in the area prefer fine dining or café-style food will help to determine what type of restaurant should be opened and what measures need to be taken in order to distinguish oneself from the competition.
Consider the location – In doing research, one should evaluate the location to ensure it is accessible to everyone. It is unlikely that a restaurant will be successful if people don’t know about it or are unable to get to it.
Select the right chef – In addition to investing in the guest experience, it is important to invest in the right chef. The chef and his or her culinary creations play an important role in what delights current customers, encourages them to return, and attracts new guests.
The culinary arts are steadily gaining interest in mainstream culture. Shows like Iron Chef and Hell’s Kitchen are entertainment phenomena, but according to the former owner of Chris’s American Restaurant, many individuals are unaware of what defines a chef. Below is an overview of several specific chef types provided by the former owner of Chris’s American Restaurant and Fiddler’s Restaurant, Chris Bruno:
Executive - Number one in the establishment, the executive chef oversees all kitchen activity including menu planning, food quality and preparation, and cost control.
Sous - Assistant to the executive chef, the sous is responsible for training other chefs. If the executive chef is unavailable, the sous chef fills in as needed.
Pastry - Responsible for preparing breads and pastries, this chef plans desserts, coupling them with beverages such as wine or coffee.
Chef de partie - Found in larger restaurants, the chef de partie is a chef that performs a specific task. For example, a saucier that creates sautéed food or a grillardin that prepares grilled items.
Garde manager - A chef responsible for the presentation of all cold foods. The garde manager is also responsible for buffet table appearance, as well as cold sauces and other dressings.
Professionally, I have worked as a chef and restaurant owner throughout my career as the proprietor of Fiddler's Restaurant and then Chris's American Restaurant in Brookfield, Connecticut. In addition, I support several charities. What follows is a description of one of those organizations, the Ryan McElroy Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Founded by the family and friends of Ryan McElroy, the foundation raises funds to assist children living with cancer or other life-threatening diseases. Ryan McElroy was just short of five years old when he lost his battle with cancer.
The Ryan McElroy Children’s Cancer Foundation hosts an annual wine, beer, and food festival in October. Attendees can buy tickets to the event online for $40 each. In addition, the charity encourages donations through its online donation page.
Other events hosted by the Ryan McElroy Children’s Cancer Foundation include a volleyball tournament, a Christmas card fundraiser, a golf outing, and several school-based events. The Ryan McElroy Children’s Cancer Foundation has also hosted fund raising galas.
Corporate sponsors of the Ryan McElroy Children’s Cancer Foundation include Topical BioMedics, Cablevision, Clear Channel, Total Webcasting Solutions, and Excel Print and Promotions.
For more information on the Ryan McElroy Children’s Cancer Foundation, visit ryansfoundation.org.
Chris's American Restaurant (Fiddler's Restaurant in Brookfield, CT) delivered progressive American food enlivened by international and domestic regional influences to customers throughout the Brookfield, Connecticut, area.