Bradford Kent

Co-Founder/Chief Culinary Officer
Blaze Pizza


Chef Brad started cooking, gardening and learning about how food is grown at age 7.

While studying business and marketing at the University of Southern California (USC), Brad’s enduring passion for the culinary world continued to develop, and in 1991 as a college senior, he started two successful catering businesses. His first company, “For Starters Catering” focused on appetizers and tapas. His second, “Bacchus Wine and Catering,” added wine pairing to the mix. 

Perhaps preordained, (as his great uncle was an early dean of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York), Brad applied and was accepted to the prestigious culinary academy, where he honed his technical skills and simultaneously apprenticed with two of America’s pre-eminent, award-winning chefs; Charlie Palmer at Aureole and Joachim Splichal at Patina.

After graduating from with honors from the CIA in 1996,Brad was recruited for a position as a product developer and food scientist for the functional ingredients supplier, CyvexNutrition. He concurrently attended California State University Long Beach, where he graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Food Science.

Armed with three degrees and a now recognized talent in the kitchen, Brad went to work for the United States Department of Defense in Massachusetts. Serving as their first ever Research Chef focusing on all-natural product development for field rations for the U.S. Military.  He also had an opportunity to create award winning products for both the German and Canadian militaries. In 2002, Brad moved west back to California, where he led the sweet and savory products R&D team for the all-natural, private label food manufacturer Two Chefs on a Roll.  

Brad moved back east in 2004, when he was hired as a private chef by a high-profile, Florida-based family for their motor yacht. During this time, Brad established a business plan for what would eventually become Blaze Pizza.  

In 2007, Brad headed west again and he established the first mobile, wood-fired pizza business in Los Angeles, “Farmer’s Market Pizza.” His pizza passion and expertise culminated with the opening of the critically acclaimed Olio Wood Fired Pizzeria in Los Angeles in 2010.  Ranked as one of the “Top-10 Destination Worthy Pizzas” by Zagat, Olio Pizza is currently located in Downtown L.A.’s beloved Grand Central Market.

Taking pizza to the next level, Brad and his co-founders launched Blaze Pizza. By 2015, Blaze Pizza had become the fastest-growing chain of restaurants in history. Brad continues to help grow the company and enjoy in its critical and consumer success.

During the pandemic of 2020, entrepreneurs like Brad Kent had time to think about their roles in the food and beverage industry. They wondered what the future would look like, when restaurants would open again and how customers would decide what was important to them. Brad also thought about what was important to him and all roads led to protecting our planet. He realized that there is a road to a better future of our planet of living things through more mindful farming and sourcing practices.  

Brad immersed himself in research, careful planning and advance work in sourcing local and regenerative ingredients for his lates concept, Bagel + Slice. The concept was that he would offer extraordinary bagels and pizza all day in a warm neighborhood setting, and the message was one of sustainability, community involvement, health and safety.