FOUNDER AND CHIEF PIPE WHISPERER
I was born in Portland – yep, I’m a native – and I played football at Grant High School as well as Portland State. I played linebacker, but I could have been a decent fullback if they’d ever given me the ball! I did a tour in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era, then came back and graduated from the University of Oregon. I’m still a big Duck fan! Starting the solar water heater division of a Portland company became my roundabout way into plumbing. Bruner Plumbing was founded in 1985, and the first year was a struggle as the economy was in the commode. But we made it and began to grow every year. I think what gets us through the down times is that we’ve built a reputation for top quality materials and treat-it-like-it’s-our-own-house service. I enjoy the challenges and the mechanical aspects of plumbing, and I like helping people make their homes more comfortable. For fun, I enjoy sailing and traveling around the world. I’m a big-time motor head, so I get out and drive my Corvette whenever I can – at legal speeds, of course.
We’ve got a great staff at Bruner…here are some thoughts from them…
JOURNEYMAN PLUMBER AND SON OF THE PIPE WHISPERER
I take great pride in my job because I get to bring the luxury and convenience of clean, usable water into people’s lives. I meet interesting people every day and many of them introduce me to new things to enjoy about life. I love to have fun whenever possible and in the great Northwest there are year-round opportunities. My favorites are snowboarding, sailing and riding my motorcycle on some of the best roads in the world!
One of the things I enjoy most about plumbing is meeting interesting people – even when it isn’t under the best of circumstances. I like solving problems, the more complicated the better. Although my wife and I are happily married with three wonderful kids, sometimes working in an old crawl space makes for a nice quiet break!
CFO/DISPATCHER, BON VIVANT
Being the traffic director at Bruner Plumbing keeps things interesting! It feels good to send friendly, qualified people out to help those who need our expertise and to know that Ward has been doing just that for nearly three decades. When he first started the company I used to do the payroll…who knew I’d get involved again after all these years…but enough about plumbing. Did I mention that we love to travel? Here’s a recipe for the best chocolate soufflé ever from Chez Fernand Christine in Paris. Mmmm, close your eyes and you’re almost there!
Chez Fernand Christine Chocolate Soufflé
Yield: makes 4-6 servings
1/2 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 ½ tablespoons of sugar for coating dish
150 grams (5 ounces) bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 large beaten egg yolks, at room temperature
6 large egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Grease a 5 ½ – or 6-cup soufflé dish with a generous amount of butter and sprinkle with 2 ½ tablespoons of sugar.
Tap the dish while turning it around so the sugar sticks to the butter all around the dish, then tip out any excess.
3. Place chocolate pieces in a heat-resistant bowl set above a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until
completely melted. (I use the microwave.) Remove from heat and slowly add the egg yolks, stirring well.
4. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add ½ cup
of sugar, beating well after each addition. When all the sugar is added, beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.
5. Incorporate about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture by folding gently. Then add the mixture to the remaining whites, folding gently until no streaks remain.
6. Spoon the mixture into the soufflé dish. Run your thumb around the inside edge to create a ridge. This will help the soufflé rise more evenly.
7. Bake in the center of the oven for 23 to 25 minutes. The soufflé is done when its puffed and crusted on top but still slightly wobbly in the center. (It won’t seem finished when you take it out.) Dust with powdered sugar.