10 Years of Meals At Bracken’s Kitchen
BY CHRISTOPHER TRELA
SEPTEMBER 12, 2023
Chef Bill Bracken spent more than three decades helming the kitchens of acclaimed restaurants, including the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach—later rebranded as the Island Hotel (and about to become the Pendry).
In 2012, Bracken defected to DivBar in Newport Beach, where he served as partner and director of operations. His goal at DivBar was “to be the classic American bar that serves really good food,” which included his famous truffle mac and cheese.
Bracken left DiveBar in 2013. His Sous-Chef Kris Kirk, who ran Ecco at The Camp and spent several years at Sage on the Coast and St. Regis Resort, took over the DiveBar kitchen.
Bracken then shifted from selling “really good food” to giving it away.
Pivot to Giving
Bracken landed on the concept of using a food truck to bring food to his friends and neighbors in need. With that, Bracken’s Kitchen was born in March 2013.
It’s since become one of the better-known local nonprofits focused on addressing issues of the food insecure.
For the year ended 2021, Bracken’s Kitchen reported close to $5.5 million in revenue and support, up from $4.9 million in 2020.
In 2021, the nonprofit’s expenses totaled nearly $4.3 million, and it ended the year with about $3.4 million in net assets, according to its latest annual report.
As Bracken’s Kitchen notes, more than 300,000 people in Orange County are food insecure. Hunger affects the old and young alike, including families with children, seniors with fixed incomes, veterans, people with disabilities, jobless, and those who are houseless.
Conversely, our country was
tes food. Around 40% of our food supply chain ends up unconsumed in the landfill. The Rose Bowl could be filled every day with the amount of food wasted in the United States.