If there is one word to describe Bretton, it is “curious.” Curiosity is what keeps Bretton inspired and naturally fascinated by the world, and the people in it.
Bretton has been an entertainer from his days as a toddler. Growing up in Sheboygan, WI, he was surrounded by music, dancing, pianos, accordions, the outdoors, and of course food. He began cooking at a early age, first fascinated by the concept of yeast, and how a few magic granules made a giant batter of flour and water rise to double or triple its size.
Through a beautiful collection of cookbooks, Bretton taught himself to cook and play piano with the help of his grandmother, a German farmer from Wisconsin. It was then that he discovered PBS and the wonderful cooking shows of Frugal Gourmet, and Julia Child.
He decided Wisconsin was too small, and studied in Spain, so he could discover where extra virgin olive oil and delicious seafood came from. He also learned a foreign language. It was there that an 80-year-old Spanish grandmother taught him how to cook, and how to use simple, natural, yet elegant ingredients.
Through his love of music and the arts, Bretton went on to study classical music, playing harpsichord, pipe organ, and jazz piano in Madison, WI, where he played in ensembles, symphonies, quartets. He also worked in restaurants to support himself. Choosing between food and music was a constant struggle in determining a career path.
After graduating, Bretton decided to move to Chicago to learn more about food. He learned the fine art of service at the Ritz Carlton, and interned in different kitchens by making pastry. He also learned about Mexican cuisine.
He decided to move to NYC, to pursue his dream of working for Food Network and continue with music and acting. He worked in countless restaurants, including for Mario Batali and opulent New York institutions such as Bergdorf Goodman and the Waverly Inn, a celebrity-studded restaurant with an all-male staff. He continued his education in life with world travels to Asia, Africa, Europe, and India, where he studied yogic arts and meditation.
Bretton decided to open a restaurant and bar, with a video studio, in Denver in 2014. He named it the Fort Greene bar, after r his Brooklyn neighborhood. Later he sold it to a friend. The bar recently received 2nd best bar in Denver award by Eater magazine in September of 2021.
After returning to New York, he pursued a career in food media, first by starting a Podcast in 2016 called “Life’s a Banquet”, which was picked up by Heritage Radio Network. He sold the podcast in 2019, and it is still operating to this day. Bretton studied the art of food styling with several prominent food stylists in New York City. He landed a job as an on-camera food stylist in the Food Network test kitchen in New York City.
Today, Bretton’s interest in cookbooks, food journalism, and history, has led him to seek a path as a video host, to reach a broader audience by preaching about the beauty of food in front of the camera. He lives between Brooklyn, Sheboygan, and Salt Lake City with his partner Preston.