Chef Brett Newman was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He started working in restaurants at 16-years-old, washing dishes, picking parsley and doing anything prep and utility related. Later, Brett moved to Columbia, Missouri, for college to study psychology. He had no idea what he wanted to do, or what he was good at.
We’re so happy to have you here, Brett. Your energy has motivated Project Angel Heart staff and has us looking forward to the future. You’ve probably been asked a million times by now, but we’ll ask you one more time for good measure: Why do you work at Project Angel Heart?
It’s the mission! I have a strong connection with what we are doing here. Using food as a tool to heal and comfort someone when they need it most. I’ve lost several family members to life threatening illnesses and I remember specifically food playing a big part in giving them satisfaction when nothing else could.
We know you’re not a Colorado native but you’re halfway there with your love of hiking, biking, exploring, and outdoor cooking. Tell us, what is your favorite thing to eat at home?
Tacos! Haha. I love tacos. I eat some form of breakfast tacos almost every morning. I have tacos for dinner at least two days a week. I’m kind of obsessed with tortillas… flour, corn, flour and corn combined. I love them all.
Food is nostalgic, offering a sense of home few other things can. The food experience can either change the way we think about food or inspire some of us to become a chef. How or where do you find your inspiration/creativity as a chef?
My inspiration comes from my great-grandmother. She was the heart and soul of the family. Not only was she an amazing cook, she was someone you could always count on for anything. I spent a lot of time with her as a young kid. Most of that time was spent in the kitchen, where she created wonderful food and I made messes. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was teaching me that there was more to food then just cooking something because you are hungry. Food/cooking was something you did to bring people together. To give comfort and replenish the body. I’ve always loved that outlook when it comes to cooking.