Chef Brian Littlejohn discovered his passion for cooking while working at a breakfast joint in his hometown of Las Vegas. He started at the egg station, making omelets. “One of the best positions for a cook to start is in breakfast,” Littlejohn says. “You learn the speed and organization it requires to make multiple dishes. I’d make 12 omelets for 12 different tables.” As a Culinary Consultant at Sysco Las Vegas, Littlejohn has taken those early lessons about efficiency and quality—and the diverse early experience of working in hotel dining rooms, steak houses and fine dining establishments—and put them to good use. He now enjoys helping customers tackle complex challenges. “I wanted to learn different cuisines, and that’s been a good fit for Sysco because we help a huge variety of customers with many different issues.”
Customers Run the Gamut
Littlejohn’s team members put their diverse insights and experience to use when running Sysco’s Business Reviews. Customers that come in can range from a gas station that serves hotdogs to a fine-dining operation at a Four Seasons hotel, according to Littlejohn, and the scope of what his team can do is wide.
We want customers to feel comfortable with the process and excited about what we can accomplish together.
Chef Brian Littlejohn
Every customer has its challenges and goals and requires a unique approach. Led by the director of business resources, Littlejohn’s team includes experts such as a Hispanic specialist and a Center of the Plate specialist who help give each customer a personalized experience. “When a customer comes in, we put together a menu, talk about products and show what Sysco can do for them,” Littlejohn says. “We’re not pushing them to buy anything. We want them to see different products and taste without pressure. We want them to feel comfortable with the process and excited about what we can accomplish together.”
Whether it’s teaching an operator how to run specials, reduce waste, implement a new cooking technique or even nail down a basic one like flipping an egg (he says the trick is to practice flipping a piece of toast), Littlejohn finds it rewarding to help all kinds of customers improve their business and increase profits. “I get to do something a little different every day,” he says.
Littlejohn’s culinary impact extends to the community, too. Recently, he participated in M.E.N.U.S., a charity fundraiser and auction. The event, sponsored in part by Sysco Las Vegas, raises money for Nevada high school students with culinary passions. One bidder won the chance to cook a seven-course meal with Littlejohn. “This is when I get to have fun, be creative and show people what Sysco can do,” he says.