Our Team

Ben and Patty Bloom started La Cuisine on a whim.   Itching for a new direction after much more conventional careers encompassing accounting, law, consulting, and teaching, a passion for food indicated what that direction should be.  It was the early 80’s, when today’s all encompassing focus on food wasn’t even a groundswell.  Frequent forays into New York provided a vision into the future.  Meeting early industry innovators and traveling to food Mecca, northern California, solidified the desire to build something innovative, creative, exciting, and unique on the Connecticut shore.

Both of our sons grew up at La Cuisine, seeing an incredible array of product enter the kitchen, and meeting the staff, an eclectic group to say the least. As they got older, they watched then worked in the Café and kitchens, and at catered events that covered the spectrum from weddings, rock concerts, Volvo Tennis, Buick Golf and more.  It is incredibly rewarding to see them both pursue careers in the industry.

No matter the venue, our vision has remained clear:  high quality ingredients, local, sustainable whenever possible, handcrafted to showcase their exceptional flavors; presented in a creative manner that does not detract from their unique properties, and served by a well trained and warm, welcoming staff.

 

Brendan Bloom was about 5 when it all began.  After leaving for Colby College with a vow to never return to the family business, Bren graduated and traveled the world for a few years after, landing in San Francisco for five years.  Upon his return to the east, he found himself catering, and working for Whole Foods.  When we made a decision to open the Café, Bren broke his vow and returned to La Cuisine in late 2006.

Brendan’s primary goal was to get the Café and Market open, which occurred in 2007.  His travels and time in San Francisco have enabled him to bring many unique flavors to our menus.  Today his responsibilities encompass all facets of our operation, as we begin the transition that will see his leadership guide La Cuisine in the future.

 

Managers

Tirina Scott manages all off premise events for La Cuisine.  A large part of her job is in the recruitment, training and scheduling of all of our catering staff.    A transplant from the mid west, Tirina gained exceptional experience as the Operations Manager at a larger Courtyard by Marriott, coupled with many years in the restaurant industry as well.

Tracy Jackson joined La Cuisine after owning the Publick Cup, a New Haven fixture, for many years.  At La Cuisine she provides all of our internal accounting functions, and spends some of her week managing the Café as well.

Jennifer Newman, a Connecticut native, joined La Cuisine as Café Manager.  She has extensive experience in a variety of shoreline restaurants, as well as in corporate event sales.

 

Event Sales and Design

Micheal Bosco and Helen Blanchard are the ones to call when you need an event.

Micheal joined our staff in 1995.  A native of Spring, Texas, Micheal works with a wide range of corporate and social clients, building events that exceed expectations while being conscious of the budget.  His Southern charm works wonders as a stress reliever for any and every event.

Helen Blanchard, a New Haven native, joined La Cuisine shortly after her wedding, catered by La Cuisine.  Helen is the one to call for any event at the New Haven Country Club.  She knows every nook and cranny of the Club, as well as the ins and outs of any type of event, from glamorous weddings to corporate gatherings, and everything in between.

 

The Kitchens

Jeff Renkl, Luis Salinas, and Dan Henthorn manage our kitchens in Branford and at the New Haven Country Club.

Jeff’s career spans Union Square Café and the best restaurants in Connecticut.  He is our Executive Chef, bringing the depth of his experience to all of our culinary endeavors. He is an extraordinarily talented chef who excels not only at the stove, but in planning creative menus that focus on seasonality, local, sustainable product.

Luis brings a South American flair as Sous Chef for the Café and Market.  Summer mornings will find him in our gardens picking what is ripe that day and turning it into something delicious.  He keeps the prepared food case full of attractive dishes with a wide range of full bodied flavors, and oversees the cooks putting the Café food out as well.

Dan Henthorn joined the New Haven Country Club team as Sous Chef, coming to New Haven from the Greenwich Country Club.  His background in Club dining also includes Brooklawn, and Mill River.  He creates arresting displays for Club buffets and stations, as well as guides the lunch team in the kitchen.

Chris Lucia, Pastry Chef extraordinaire, is responsible for all of our baked goods in Branford and at the Club, and for catered off premise events as well.  Chris provides us with an all day approach to pastry, from croissant, Danish, scones and muffins for breakfast, whole grain breads and our curry onion rolls for lunch, followed of course by a cupcake, cookie or bar, and then on to dinner, where he might provide a budino, panna cotta, rustic fruit tart, luscious layer cake, and more.  When it comes to wedding cakes, you can’t stump Chris.  He has assembled rounds, squares, and triangles, stacked, not stacked, basket weave, and swiss dots, Chris’s answer is to bring it on.  His training at the CIA followed by a stint at Keller’s Bouchon Bakery shows in everything he does.

 

Operations

Leon Lewis his gang essentially make the trains run.  He is responsible for figuring out what we will need, how to pack it, getting it to and from the job, and cleaned and put back on the shelf.  He coordinates all our beverage orders, routes the trucks and vans, and essentially tries his best to keep La Cuisine on track.