If you’ve been to Bountiful Bread in the last six months, you might have noticed that our specials
have changed and that’s because of Nate Brooks. Coming off his most recent 6-year stint at
Creo, Nate has mastered the ever-challenging task of creating delicious, interesting and well-
received dishes. Most recently, he has made it his mission to change what’s being served at
Stuyvesant’s much-loved bakery and café.
“My culinary preferences are very much influenced by my parents; my mother is French-
Canadian and my dad is a German from New Mexico. At my core, I am a traditionalist but I like
to find innovative ways to present established dishes.” Nate has brought a whole new taste to
Bountiful with his mother’s meat pie and stuffed chicken breast with prosciutto, Munster cheese,
spinach, garlic and other goodness, topped with a mushroom cream sauce and sided with au
gratin potatoes and side salad (just to name two new meals). Nate attributes his time at Creo
with where he “came into his own” and developed his own unique spin on classic cuisines. “I
really loved Creo, but I am very happy here [Bountiful Bread]. I am trusted completely and I
have no limitations as to what I want to make. It’s such an empowering feeling to have full
creative freedom to experiment in the kitchen.” The 17-year culinary aficionado started his
career at Jack’s Oyster House in 2001 under Certified Master Chef, Dale Miller. From there he
moved around the country, learning how to perfect scrambled eggs at a diner in Oregon, made
his way around corporate kitchens at popular national restaurant chains and then came back
home to Albany, NY where he has honed in on his talents in local eateries.
When asked what the most challenging aspect of his new role at Bountiful was, Nate responded
with the same enthusiasm he had throughout our conversation: “It’s definitely a different
atmosphere, but it’s also a rewarding one. I have assumed more of a teacher-mentor role and I
am eager to teach anyone who wants to learn! I like to show my co-workers how it’s done by
taking them through each step in order to bring Bountiful’s dishes to the next level.” As for
advice on how to learn more about culinary techniques and trends, Nate is a fan of Google.
“Google is your friend. People tend to overcomplicate cooking. Once you know how to sauté,
braise, sear, etc. you know it. There area only 6 ways to cook something, everything else is
ingredients. If I want to cook something that I never have before, I simply look it up. My advice
isn’t to take the first recipe you see, but to read a few and establish the commonalities of each
and go from there.”
To find out what’s next for Bountiful Bread’s new menu items, come in and see for yourself!
Nate does want to know, though, how the public feels about more ethnic dishes. “I am really
curious to hear feedback from the community as to what they’d like to see us offer. Please let us
know what cuisines/dishes you’d like us to branch out into!” Customers are encouraged to
email, Private Message on Facebook or stop in and give their preferences as Bountiful’s
continued goal is to be the Capital Region’s community-driven bakery and café.