Flaherty started his first restaurant job right here in Medina at the Grand Market Café. He then went on to work with Chef Zack Bruell (L’Albatros), Chef Dante Boccuzzi (Dante), Chef Jonathon Sawyer (Trentina), and as a stagiaire at Michelin 3-star Grace (Chicago). After working with Chrostowski at L’Albatros, Flaherty became his assistant GM as they were opening EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute. Most recently, Michael opened and developed the concept of the very highly-rated Ushabu, in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood before returning to Medina to open Sérénité.
Brandon E. Chrostowski
Brandon Edwin Chrostowski is on a mission to change the face of re-entry in the United States. In 2007, he founded EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, with the belief that every human being regardless of their past has the right to a fair and equal future. Under Chrostowski’s leadership, EDWINS has grown to include culinary education and life skills training at its flagship Cleveland, Ohio restaurant and Second Chance Life Skills Center, a program at Grafton Correctional Institute, and curriculum for inmates of all 30 Ohio prisons.
A trained chef and sommelier, Chrostowski has worked at some of the finest restaurants in Paris, New York, and Chicago, including Lucas Carton, Chanterelle, Picholine, Le Cirque and Charlie Trotter’s. He earned dozens of awards including CNN Heroes, Crain’s 40 under 40 and The Richard C. Cornuelle Award from the Manhattan Institute for Social Entrepreneurship and is the subject of the Academy nominated documentary Knife Skills. Chrostowski holds an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Restaurant Management from The Culinary Institute of America. He is married to Catana and is a proud father of Leo and Lilly.
Brenot trained at the culinary school in Capbreton, France and then made his way to the French Riviera for six years. In 1980 he landed at the legendary Paris Bar in West Berlin, before leaving for New York City in 1982. It was there that Gilbert first became an executive chef with the opening of Zinc in Tribeca before departing for Cleveland in 1984.
In 1998, Gilbert took over as the chef and owner of Maxi’s in Cleveland’s Little Italy. He would remain there the next 15 years before retiring in 2013. Brenot came out of retirement to be the opening executive chef at EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute. There, Brenot was able to cook his most important recipe yet: a second chance for his students. He is extremely happy to be back with the team to open Sérénité Restaurant, where he can continue to mentor and nurture the growth of our future chefs.