Inquisitive about food since childhood, Dan has found his stride in the fresh & sustainable food culture. He grew up idolizing the frugal gourmet and bringing terribly spelled recipes to his mom insisting they make them for dinner. His earliest memories are long days spent in his Grandmothers garden tasting each delicate plant straight from the ground. Heading inside for dinner where the freshly baked bread was just coming out of the oven, to be placed next to the buttered peas, he and his Grandmother spent the summer nurturing.
This type of family cooking was a magnificent influence to the young, budding chef. Preparing food was something that always felt easy and attainable. He watched as it brought friends closer, and made family tighter.
His first job at 16 was a specialty grocery store in Chicago. High quality cheeses, pâté’s, breads and spices. The fish market gave him an introduction to butchery. This exposure to the culinary world sealed his fate. Watching chefs come in to carefully select their ingredients for service, pushed him forward into many hot line positions. Years and years of prep cooking and high volume restaurants gave him a great foundation and working knowledge of quick production and pushing food fast for customer satisfaction. Yet, he yearned for more for himself and for his customers.
The intense education at the Western Culinary Institute of Portland Oregon, elevated his palate and sky rocketed his ambitions. He was eager to bring back everything he learned to his hometown. Returning to Columbus, he was hired and cooked in some of the most popular and well established restaurants. Each one had something great, but none of them had what he was looking for.
Paving his own way in a two ton truck filled with fryers, a flat top and a cooler, Dan was on his way to make his mark in the city. And that he did. With in his first year, he was named Best Food Truck of 2012 by columbusunderground.com, Columbus Taste Maker of the year from Crave Magazine, was filmed by Night Line and had a multitude of write ups on local blogs. Just this past fall, Eat St. of the Cooking Channel aired a segment highlighting his smoked meats.
All of this while sourcing locally and building great relationships in the community. His goal is to create an environment where restaurants stew the tomatoes they grow, butcher the animals they buy, and bake the bread they toast. Chef Dan is full of heart and soul. He willing to work too many hours in the kitchen to make food for the masses that feels familiar and friendly without compromising on quality. Most importantly showing his son how to invest in the people that mean the most and give back to the community that supports small, family owned businesses.
Favorite Food: Stuffed Artichokes
Favorite Drink: Root Beer
Favorite place to eat in Columbus: Fukuryu Ramen