Originally from North Yorkshire, Dan’s ambition to become a chef started with his first job as a kitchen porter, aged just 14. His love for this career was confirmed through a combination of his college course and hard work in the kitchens of the McCoys’ Cleveland Tontine, a locally renowned restaurant where he learnt to appreciate the focus, passion, commitment and demands required to work in the business. From there, Dan headed to the Catalina Restaurant in Rose Bay, Sydney, where he developed a keen interest in modern and contemporary cooking.
Not long after his return to the UK, Dan ended up under Tom Kitchin at the The Kitchin Restaurant in Edinburgh. This experience combined a passionate team with a fast-paced environment and a demanding workload. The ideology behind The Kitchin, ‘From Nature to Plate’ really resonated with Dan as a cook and has remained with him throughout his career. Keen to seek out new flavours and techniques, Dan left the Kitchin to cook his way through South Africa, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Crossing to New Zealand, he settled in Auckland working in The Grove, an acclaimed and ambitious modern restaurant.
Returning home to North Yorkshire, Dan worked alongside Tommy Banks and Adam Jackson at the Michelin-starred Black Swan at Oldstead. With a strong emphasis on locally-grown produce, their philosophy echoed the importance of provenance Dan had first appreciated in Scotland. After a period back in Yorkshire he was invited to join Phil Howard at the two Michelin-starred The Square in Mayfair, progressing to Head Chef within a few short years.
From there came an offer to take over as Head Chef at The Fenchurch at the Sky Garden, one which allowed both his creative and management skills to shine through. With incredible views over the City and a talented, hard-working team, Dan’s ambition was to match the stunning surroundings with beautifully presented contemporary dishes, driven by seasonal ingredients and fresh, clean flavours.
Dan recently took part in the BBC’s ‘Great British Menu’, winning the North East regional heat and progressing through to the national finals.
Dan’s enthusiasm, ambition, precision in cooking, dedication and creative passion throughout his career thus far, has resulted in his most recent appointment as head chef, in an exciting new venture at 28 Market Place, the much-anticipated, upcoming restaurant from ex-Soho House director, Ben Crofton. Set to open later this year in the picturesque town of Somerton, in Somerset, the restaurant is sited in a group of characterful, traditional, grade II listed buildings in the heart of the town and includes an on-site ‘Market Bakery’, which will supply the restaurant’s baked goods, ‘Somerton Wines’, stocking a selection of around 150 wines and an artisan ice cream shop. Dan’s modern, British European menu will champion quality produce from local suppliers, driven by seasonal ingredients, fresh clean flavours and backed up by a strong belief and focus on beautifully presented, contemporary dishes.