Multnomah County

Students remember Chef Brophy as 'the spirit' of OCI

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Both former and current students of the Oregon Culinary Institute are remembering Chef Daniel Brophy as an amazing teacher and overall person.

Brophy,63, was found shot to death Saturday morning by students arriving at OCI. An autopsy determined he died of homicidal violence, however, authorities still have no suspect information.

While students described Brophy as a "tough" teacher, they also said he had an enormous amount of knowledge to share.

Former student Dominique Bouza started at OCI in September 2016 and gives credit to Brophy for finishing school. She recently got a job at Palomar on Southeast Division, and can't help but think of her mentor.

"Knowledge beyond belief," Bouza told KOIN 6 News. "You think you come into culinary school, wide-eyed, with this dream of being a chef and he's like 'You can do that, but there's a lot you need to know to do that.'"

She also described Brophy as "the spirit of the Oregon Culinary Institute."

"His passing makes me upset because no future student will be able to experience the man that was larger than life," Bouza said.

Many students reached out to KOIN 6 News -- wanting to share what Brophy meant to them and explaining how he single-handedly changed the way they look at food.

"He was a friend to everybody out of the school," former student Travis Richartz said. "Holding stuff on the weekends to help you learn more, taking you mushroom foraging to teaching how to properly raise a chicken from start to finish."

Portland police said they need more surveillance video to help them identify the person or people responsible.

"There is a possibility that somebody had a surveillance system that we didn't see their cameras," Sgt. Chris Burley said. "If you do have surveillance and you haven't been contacted by police, give us a call."

A candlelight vigil is scheduled Monday night for Brophy at OCI -- which is located at 1701 SW Jefferson St. The public is invited to attend.

More students react to Brophy's death

 "Chef Brophy was the man. He had an answer for everything and was always right. Not just about food, but about life. I graduated OCI in 2007 and he played a big role in the direction I took my career. He was definitely a mentor to me in my cooking and farming career. He was always available if I needed advice or wanted to collaborate with him on classes. When I lost my Dad in 2011, Chef really stepped up as a friend to me and I appreciated that so much. He loved coming out to the farm and teaching folks how to humanely slaughter poultry, raise bees and always made us laugh with that special personality of his. I cant say enough about Chef. He will never be forgotten, he has touched so many peoples lives. He was the rock of that school, you ask anyone and they will tell you that. Sending love to his family, especially his wife Nancy who he adored so much." -- Stacey Givens, owner of The Side Yard Farm and Kitchen

 

"I am recent graduate from the Oregon Culinary Institute and deeply saddened by the loss of my beloved instructor Brophy. You see, one of my biggest obstacles in culinary school was my rare whitefish allergy, it impeded me to taste things like cod, halibut, and tilapia. That almost deterred me from finishing the program entirely, however, Chef Brophy having a background in marine biology changed the for me. He gave me the tools overcome the adversity some cooks may have. He gave me a scientific approach how to prepare fish and have the confidence to go any other professional kitchen and be able to execute a dish despite my allergy. I am just one student that he touched and inspired and I just deeply saddened by this tragedy." -- Dominique Bouza, former student

 

"Chef Brophy was much more than just an amazing Chef. He was a great counselor, advisor, an uncle to me and a friend. His culinary knowledge and expertise in the medium were by far extraordinary and sometimes, dare I say, magical. I had the amazing privilege of being one of his students and an OCI alumni graduate, class of 2015. My heart aches at this tragedy, but his memory will forever live on in my heart, only remembering the good times, in fact, those are the only memories I have of him, culinary knowledge, laughter and his brophisms." -- Monique Quintana

Follow Eileen Park on Twitter @EileenParkTV 


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