For Brad Buss, being a chef is not just about cooking up new dishes and putting together a menu. As new executive chef at Pacific Palms Resort in Industry Hills, he’s planned more for the resort than just a meal or two.
“I want to bring in some procedures that I’ve learned in the past two years to cut food costs and increase profits,” Buss said. “Raising food quality, getting more cost-effective staff and recoding staff duties are some of the things I plan to do.”
A graduate of the New York Restaurant School, Buss started his career at the Plaza Hotel in New York before working at Ritz Carltons in Laguna Niguel, Rancho Mirage and Phoenix.
But after 10 years, he felt that the company was not growing fast enough. So he went to the Four Seasons chain and worked in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tokyo and San Francisco. Then he did stints as the executive chef at Loews hotels in Annapolis, Md., and Washington D.C.
He described his position with Pacific Palms as different and exciting.
“This is a lot more independent and I can incorporate 15 years of my experience to bring a strong direction to the food and beverage section here,” Buss said.
The first change he implemented with the menu at Cima, one of Pacific Palms’ restaurants, was a daily theme. “Before, it used to be meatloaf with spaghetti and meatballs,” he said. “Now I have a Mexican menu one day, Italian menu another day and home style food on yet another.”
A wine reception on the last Friday of each month is another feature Buss has implemented. Area wineries bring their bottles in for tasting by Pacific Palms customers, and the reception is followed by an “East meets West” buffet at Cima.
“There’s a lot of potential here. I plan to stay here and make this one of the most unique resorts in Southern California,” Buss said.
Buss lives in West Covina and will be married in October to his fianc & #233;e, Heather Steinbrook, who works as a national sales manager at Pacific Palms. In their spare time, they like to visit wineries and cook at home.