Head Chef Theo Brisley, a sustainable leader
Theo Brisley has been Head Chef at Moxie’s Kelowna since 2021. Born and raised in Nanaimo, Theo started working in culinary arts while he was in College and needed a job. Once he started to see growth and passion develop, it was clear that this was something he was going to do for a long time. He then gained experience working at JOEY Restaurant Group and Cactus Club. Theo then joined the Canadian restaurant chain operating in eight provinces, as well as the U.S. states of Texas and Florida. His greatest achievements were achieving his red seal designation, becoming a head chef and competing and traveling for culinary. He would define himself as somebody that is consistently challenging his own status quo and growing into the leader he believes he can be. He is now in charge of the Moxies Kelowna Culinary Team. On a daily basis, he supports, coaches and organizes the culinary team and operations. Let’s learn more about his insights!
BetterTable.ca: What do you need to succeed?
Head Chef: For me, to succeed, I need the right people around me. These are people that are supportive but also very honest with me. Success for me is seeing the people around me reach their true potential and discover passion.
BetterTable.ca: What has been your biggest challenge?
Head Chef: Learning how to be a Head Chef and learning how my decisions impact the people around me. I guess you could say living into true integrity.
BetterTable.ca: Do you have mentors?
Head Chef: Currently with Moxies I am working closely with Micah Treder and Jason Turnbull. Outside of work my most recent mentor was Chef Dan Craig of Delta Hotels in Toronto.
BetterTable.ca: Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
Head Chef: If I could give my younger self advice in this career, it would be to communicate clearly, listen with the intent to listen and to build relationships not for a gain but to genuinely have a relationship with that person.
BetterTable.ca: What are projects for the future of the company?
Head Chef: Currently I am supporting other stores in our region by working with newer Chefs. My immediate future project will be to drive the Kelowna open as we relaunch our brand.
BetterTable.ca: What does leadership mean to you?
Head Chef: Leadership to me means that we are enabling our people to have the freedom to be the best versions of themselves. I believe that leadership is a choice and that we work for our teams.
BetterTable.ca: What is your vision of excellence?
Head Chef: Excellence to me will be when we have a team that shows up for themselves as much as for us and they are proud of where they work. The results for our guests will be a result of that.
BetterTable.ca: What obstacles do you have to overcome on a daily basis?
Head Chef: I wouldn’t say obstacles more so as coaching moments with people are learning to make the best decisions.
Food Waste Measurement with BetterTable.ca
In 2022, a food waste measurement study has been conducted by BetterTable.ca, in order to:
- Monitor food waste to estimate a food waste baseline in 5 days
- Identify food efficiency, sustainability and savings opportunities
- Provide insights and build capacity
Moxie's Kelowna's strengths
We use clear labelling systems, day dot stickers and “use first” stickers to make it clear which product needs to be used first. We have found that in high stress moments this makes it easier for our team to make quick decisions.
Track food usage reports
Tracking food usage helps reduce food costs. Our food waste system shows us what exactly is going into the garbage and helps us isolate specific products in order for us to create an action plan. For example, with French fries, we were able to focus on the amounts we were cooking or over-firing and drop our waste by several pounds per week.
Tracking food waste and tracking food usage are both important. If we don’t have the information we need then we are looking at a blank road map. These two systems show us where to look and uncover the answers we are looking for without guessing
Store greens in a cold bath to extend the shelf life
Iceberg lettuce has a high wastage. We utilize cold ice baths and good drainage after to maximize the quality and shelf life of this item. No matter what we do this particular item is under prepped on purpose in order to move towards zero waste and have fresh lettuce each day.
Team up with a General Manager with a sustainability mindset
As partners we always have to know what the other is working on and what we are striving for. This gives us the ability to support, coach and push each other to our goals. With food sustainability this is important as this directly relates to food cost and maximizing our profit.
Learn more about the Chef
Name: Chef Theo Brisley
Job: Head Chef
Company: Moxie’s Kelowna
Passions: cooking, music and martial arts
Grew up: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Favourite food: Spaghetti
Favourite restaurant: Bluetail Sushi
Favourite food waste hack: reverse ordering
Favourite influencer: Simon Sinek
Favourite podcast: The Mindset Mentor
Favourite book: Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins