Branden Dinger brings heart, soul, and passion to our Culinary Team as our Executive Sous Chef. His flavors are unique, his technique is on point, and he 100% stands behind his crew and food. We were stoked to sit down with Branden and learn more about his background, inspirations, and passions that make him such a strong and positive force in our kitchen.
Executive Sous Chef
Born and raised in Perryville, MO, Branden, grew up with a small town vibe. He moved to Springfield, MO when he was 15 and joined the military after high school. He served as an Airborne heavy equipment operator stationed out of Fort Bragg in North Carolina. There Branden formed his strong work ethic and took great pride in his role and responsibility as being part of the Airborne Army team. Post Army, Branden came back to Springfield and was influenced by his brother to start working in the restaurant industry. Together they worked at several restaurants in the Springfield area, and Branden’s brother played a large role in constantly motivating and encouraging Branden to continue to learn and grow in his culinary profession. A defining moment in Branden’s career came on his 22nd birthday when an accident on the job left him out of the kitchen for over 3 months. That time away from the restaurant industry gave Branden the realization that his passion was in the kitchen and that was what he wanted to do for his career.
Branden’s life is: 1) Family 2) Career 3) Hobbies – Family is always first.
What is one ingredient you couldn’t live without cooking with?
Heart and passion. If you don’t cook with passion and heart, then you are just throwing ingredients together without a story.
Favorite way to cook with beer?
Working at SBC it has been my mission to try and incorporate beer into any recipe I damn near cook. Basting meats and making savory sauces are great ways to incorporate beer into recipes.
How would you describe what you do for a living?
- Time management and product management
- What I love to do. Working in the restaurant industry is my second most favorite thing in my life next to my wife and daughter.
What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
After many years of being in the industry then being able to take a year off after doing this for so long has given me a different perspective and has allowed me to be more calm in stressful situations. Being able to see the big picture and help my crew conquer challenges, while making sure guest experience is top notch. I enjoy motivating my crew by giving them positive feedback and making sure they know they are doing a good job. Saying “Goodbye and Good work” to my crew after every shift is always important. I always want to make sure they feel appreciated and valued.
What country of the world do you think has the best food?
American, specifically New-Americana cuisine. Being able to use flavors and ingredients from all over the world and making them our own is what makes this genre so great. We are creating our own identity and changing the way the world sees our country’s food.
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?
I’m a really good welder and also a total gearhead. In my free time I love being able to work on my car. Oh, and I’m also a pretty good dad too!
What is your go-to meal when you are low on time?
Ramen. Any flavor in the pantry. Doesn’t matter. Occasionally add Sriracha when needed. But really there is no need to church it up. I like to keep it au naturel. I’m also a popcorn fiend.
Tell me someone you admire and why?
My Dad- He just beat stage 3 hodgkin’s lymphoma. Watching him stay cheerful and positive even when going through the hardest time was inspiring. He is a whole different breed of human.
My Brother- he has completely modified his life to be a better father and provider to his family
My Crew- They motivate me to be a better chef every day
My Wife- She came to America from Ukraine and she created the ‘American Dream’ for herself by starting up two businesses. She owns her photography company and is also a private realtor. She is a huge inspiration for me and is constantly pushing me to do better and follow my heart and my passions.
Favorite SBC beer?
Currently on tap- Double Track and Mudhouse Stout