Born in Los Angeles, CA in the mid-80’s, Brien's culinary journey started when he was 13 years old in his mother’s kitchen in Redding, CA. "I remember turning a package of fresh strawberries into a puree by hand (today I would use an immersion blender, but with age comes wisdom) then adding sugar and cinnamon until it was a delicious strawberry sauce!!" This is where Brien's love for creating food began.
In August of 2017 Brien was named the 14th Best Home Cook in America on Season 8 of the FOX television show MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay. Judged by Celebrity Chef's Christina Tosi, Aaron Sanchez & Gordon Ramsay, Brien made a name for himself by winning several challenges during the show and was even given letters of recommendation from each of the three Chefs after filming.
After MasterChef Brien worked in a few kitchens and as a private chef, but always desired becoming "classically trained" as a Chef. Starting in January of 2018 he embarked on a year of rigorous study at the worldly renowned Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in California's Napa Valley (AOS 65). There, Brien honed in his culinary knowledge and fundamentals while also studying fine wine and meeting many prestigious and famous Chefs along the way.
After Culinary School Brien worked in several kitchens and wineries while in the Napa Valley while planning his next move. This allowed him time to experience all the fine wine and cuisine Napa Valley has to offer, furthering his love for California inspired French cuisine.
Brien's next venture would be to team up with his brother Zach and launch a series called Eating NorCal which promotes local restaurants in Northern California. Branching off of its parent company Active NorCal, Eating NorCal aims to highlight all things food and drink in Northern California with pictures, videos, and articles. Eating NorCal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
With the celebration of MasterChef's 10th season, Brien was asked to be the first EatWith MasterChef Ambassador. With this role he posts weekly videos discussing the different EatWith opportunities for Season 10 to the EatWith Instagram page. He also hosts private dinners through EatWith' which gets him back in the kitchen a few days a week.
Brien's next adventure was to join his brother Zach to start Talking NorCal Podcast. The Talking NorCal Podcast is the official podcast of Active NorCal. Hosts Zach and Brien O'Brien discuss the stories of the week in Northern California as well as insightful interviews with the leading outdoor enthusiasts and tell stories of their adventures in NorCal. Check out the Talking NorCal podcast on all major platforms or visit their YouTube page for full video episodes.
In November of 2018 Brien started his career in the wine industry at Clif Family Winery. Here he started at Tasting Room host and worked his way up to Virtual Experience & Virtual Manager. Here, Brien hosts Virtual Wine Tastings, coordinates all winery events and contributes to marketing and social media efforts.
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