Brenda / Chef Proprietor
Chef Brenda grew up on the West
Upon graduating from Louisiana State University with a BFA in Painting and Drawing, Brenda decided to pursue her real creative passion and began cooking in the kitchens of New Orleans. Within a few years, she found a natural fit at Mike’s on the Avenue creating fusion cuisine and was quickly promoted to Chef de Cuisine.
In 1997, Brenda moved to San Francisco and at the age of 29 landed her first Executive Chef position at the notable fusion pioneer
After leaving Oritalia, Buenviaje went on to work as Head Chef of Sumi in the Castro, Head Chef of Café Claude in downtown San Francisco, Consulting Chef of Snooze in Denver, Colorado and Executive Chef of DeLessio Market and Bakery.
In 2007, Brenda decided to open her own place serving her interpretation of “French Soul Food” in a casual atmosphere. From day one the response has been overwhelming!
In her spare time you can find Brenda with her lovely wife Libby and three children Max, Aurora and Leo, crabbing off of the Sausalito Pier, catching a Giants game, foraging for wild fruit to put into her next pancake special and dreaming up new ways to take over the world one beignet at a time…
(Photo: Orange Photography)
Libby / Proprietor
Libby is the co-owner of Brenda’s French Soul Food. She is the proud wife of Brenda, mom to their children Aurora and Leo, and stepmom to Brenda's son Max. Born and raised in Iowa, Libby considered herself a meat and potatoes girl—until the day she met and fell for her amazing chef of a wife, who opened her eyes (and mouth) to some of the most dynamic, delicious, and sexy food in San Francisco.
In 2007, Brenda convinced Libby to leave her illustrious career as an academic to help open a small, humble restaurant. With the successful opening of two additional restaurants and the wonderful family they’ve created together, Libby considers herself to be one of the luckiest restaurateurs in San Francisco.
John / Executive Chef
Chef John graduated with honors from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in 1994. He is an accomplished chef—with a career in fine dining as well as large-scale restaurant businesses, many of which he has helped open and operate. Over the years, his success has led to national and local media appearances and opportunities to work on celebrity events and catering.
He began his career at the renowned Mike’s on the Avenue in New Orleans, where he met Chef Brenda. After many grueling shifts working side by side, John and Brenda developed a mutual respect and forged a friendship that has endured to this day.
John worked with Brenda once again at San Francisco’s Oritalia, serving as her Sous Chef for three years. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he owned and operated MIX, a critically acclaimed fine dining restaurant. And most recently, he worked under Mark Sullivan at the Michelin-starred Village Pub, and as Executive Chef for Chalet Restaurant Group.
Although John's passion lies with French cuisine, he is a skilled chef in a variety of styles, with a focus on fresh, local and sustainable food. When he isn't cooking he enjoys spending time with his favorites—wife, Kelly and their son Owen—on late night drives adventuring up and down the California coast, in search of the best tacos (or donuts) in town...
Andrew / General Manager
With over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Andrew Bloom has worked in and managed a number of well known fine dining and busy neighborhood establishments in San Francisco and Berkeley, including Rex Café, Zax, Zax Tavern, Foreign
From his childhood in Denver, Colorado where food was the focal point of his multi-heritage family, Andrew took quickly to having his home be the center of entertaining—extending comfort to everyone who stepped through their door. Leading Brenda’s front of house staff, Andrew offers this experience to you.
(Photo: Myleen Hollero)