His Roots

In the 70s and 80s, being a Chef in America wasn’t “fashionable” like it is now. If you worked in a kitchen, you were most likely a outcast or a drifter. Chef Brian was neither of those when he got his first restaurant job at 13 as a dishwasher, yet something still called him to the fast paced and beautiful work of creating real and delicious food.

 
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Honing Skills

From his early twenties onward, Chef Brian was mentored by one of the first certified master chefs in the country, Milos Cihelka, an old school Czech. From him, Chef Polcyn learned whole-animal butchery and the ancient craft of Charcuterie, but most importantly he learned the necessary discipline it takes to become a successful chef.

He went on to operate/own six restaurants in Metro Detroit over 35 years, winning restaurant of the year 5 times, and educating a significant portion of the culinary population in metro-Detroit and beyond as an instructor as Schoolcraft College for over 20 years, all while raising five kids with his beautiful wife. 

In 2006, Chef Brian and his first book, Charcuteie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing", were nominated for James Beard Awards in the categories of "Best Chef: Great Lakes/Midwest" and "Single Subject Cookbook". 

His Mission

Chef Polcyn has a mission, it is to help preserve the family farm in America and to help Charcuterie continue to grow into a vibrant and well-practiced part of the modern American menu. It takes time and commitment to practice Charcuterie and we hope to help people continue to develop their skills and grow their knowledge on this invaluable subject.

 
 

The Chef Brian Team

Currently, Chef Brian travels the country and teaches with his son/promoter Dylan Brian. He is number four of Chef Brian's five children and like his father he is passionate about the mission of educating people on the craft of Charcuterie and preserving the family farm in the U.S.

 
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Chef's Philosophy

Chef Brian's philosophy on cooking and Charcuterie

 
 

"People like to say chefs are artists. I don't agree. Nature is the artist, I am a craftsperson." - Chef Brian

Since his first days as a cook, Chef Brian always shopped at local farmers markets purchasing what is in season and at peak flavor for his restaurants. Good food begins with good ingredients, plain and simple. Know your farmer because they give you the tools to craft great food.

 
 

“How many times are you supposed to wash spinach? One, two, or three times? The answer is ‘Until it’s clean’

There is no one right way to cook good food, but there is a path to follow. It’s up to us to adapt well-tested traditions for the modern kitchen, building on the integrity of great recipes. It is culinary intuition, and it comes from years of experience, but begins early on with a continuous willingness to educate oneself. 

 
 

“Praise the Lard!” - Chef Brian

Charcuterie is a craft of utilization, developed to preserve food before refrigerators. Something delicious can be made from every part of the pig and out of respect for this noble beast, no part should be left to waste. Practice nose-to-tail cooking as much as possible and buy whole animal when you can. You can make sure no part of the pig goes to waste and it creates a sustainable financial market for your local farmers outside of the primal cuts.