Brandon Chrostowski: Use your Voice to Make a Difference

In this episode of Championship Leadership, we are honored to have with us Brandon Chrostowski, American chef, Founder, and CEO of EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute, and featured as one of 25 CNN Heroes of the Year in 2016. He will share his incredible journey from being a former law offender to becoming one of the best chefs that give a real second chance to formerly incarcerated individuals.

As a former offender himself, Brandon knows the importance of having a second shot in life and believes that everyone, in spite of the past, should be provided with equal opportunity to a better future. With this idea, he was motivated to help former inmates achieve a way of success by granting them culinary education and leadership training through EDWINS non-profit organization. These and more!

Do not miss this life-changing episode!

In This Episode:

[1:56] What does Championship Leadership mean to Brandon?
[2:29] Who is Brandon Chrostowski and what brought him to where he is today?
[5:52] Leaders that have influenced him. 
[12:52] His vision, future plans, and the impact he wants to make.
[17:03] A turning point inside of his life. 
[21:12] Episode takeaways.

Important Quotes:

 “Championship Leadership is about sacrifice and grit.”

 “It’s not practice that makes perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect.”

 “Great leadership isn’t coming in and giving a speech and leaving, it’s working with someone in those moments they see you, and this all adds to the credibility of your message.”

“Education wins.”

“When there’s a fork in the road you take it.”

“I just didn’t want to die and be disappointed that I never tried this dream I had in my head.”

“You can learn to be courageous.”

“We can make a difference on a daily basis, as long as we just use our voice.”

About The Guest:

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 “education wins” and that every human being – regardless of their past – has the right to a fair and equal future. Under Chrostowski’s stewardship, EDWINS has grown to include culinary education and life skills training at its flagship French eatery and haute dining concept, edwins too, in Cleveland, Ohio; a Butcher Shop and Bakery and Diner; a nearby Second Chance Life Skills Center campus for additional learning, housing, and support services; an on-site program at Grafton Correctional Institute and curriculum for inmates at all Ohio state prisons.

A classically trained chef and sommelier, Chrostowski honed his skills at fine dining establishments in Paris, New York, and Chicago, including Lucas Carton, Chanterelle, Picholine, Le Cirque, and Charlie Trotter’s. Recognition of his culinary and mission-driven efforts include IFMA’s 2020 Silver Plate, CNN 2016 Heroes and Crain’s “40 under 40” awards; being featured as the subject of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Knife Skills; and The Richard C. Cornuelle Award from the Manhattan Institute for Social Entrepreneurship. Chrostowski earned an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Restaurant Management from The Culinary Institute of America. He resides in Cleveland with his wife Catana and their children, Leo, Lilly, and Lynx.



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