A bolt from the blue can be a powerful guidepost in life that doesn’t come around very often. When it does, listen to it. Bill Bracken grew up in the small town of Wathena, Kansas. Population 1,364. He started cooking at home as a young man with his mom and grandmother.
After high school, Bill attended a small vocational school before winning a scholarship from a national cooking competition to the Culinary Institute of America. He graduated with honors and in the top ten in his class. Starting in the eighties, chefs became rock stars, and suddenly this kid from a small town in Kansas found himself in Beverly Hills as Executive Chef of he Belvedere Restaurant at The Peninsula Hotel. During his time there the Belvedere won the AAA Five Diamond Award for twelve consecutive years. He also won “Chef of the Year” from the California Restaurant Writers Association.