Dave Swanson, Chef/Owner
Dave began his journey in the culinary world at age 16 in a small restaurant in his hometown of Lake Villa, IL. It was here that he was introduced to the wonders of food and never looked back.
He trained at Kendall College, Chicago's preeminent culinary arts school. Dave also had the opportunity to spend some time at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, honing his skills of classical French cuisine.
After graduating from Kendall College, Dave moved down to New Orleans to work at the infamous Commander's Palace. During his time in New Orleans Dave found his passion for American regional cooking and decided to come back to his roots and explore the bounty of the Midwest.
Dave continued his career at some of the Chicago area's most prominent restaurants including Le Titi de Paris, Carlos' Restaurant and Le Francais. In 1999, Dave moved to Milwaukee to become the Chef de Cuisine at Sanford.
In 2008, he launched Braise RSA (restaurant supported agriculture), which brings locally sourced foods into restaurants. Braise Restaurant & Culinary School opened in 2011. From this endeavor came 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Midwest.
Dave has been a long time resident of the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee. He has a chocolate lab named Gabby that loves to accompany him on hikes through the Kettle Moraine. When Gabby isn't with him Dave loves to cross country ski, bike and travel.
Isabelle Bishop, Bread Baker/ Culinary School Assistant
Isabelle hails from Detroit, Michigan. She came to Milwaukee to attend Marquette University and graduated with a degree in philosophy. Her studies in school were focused on the ethics of food, which ultimately led her to begin work at Growing Power. Through researching Milwaukee's sustainable food scene, Isabelle made the leap from farm to kitchen and is now here to stay, When she's not at Braise she enjoys seeking out local food, music and volunteering at the Riverwest Co op.