“Do what you love to do”, advice that Chef Daniel has always followed and has led him to this point in his career. As a child, a little curiosity and a sense of independence is what pulled him in to the kitchen. Before he was a teenager, Daniel began to learn the fundamentals of cooking in his family’s home kitchen, where his parents and grandparents taught him to cook traditional Ecuadorian dishes like Seco de Gallina (a slow cooked hen dish that uses beer as part of the broth) and Pan de Yuca (a roll made with Yuca flour and stuffed with queso fresco). Being from a large family he was able to see these meals that his mom, grandmother, and aunts would put together, bring lots of joy and are big parts of great memories his family has.
The satisfaction he began to receive from learning and creating dishes and foods that others will enjoy is what would later bring Chef Daniel to the realization of his passion for cooking. Like many people he tried a few different career options before becoming a Chef, including graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Film from Full Sail University, in Orlando, Florida. Daniel found his very first job as a cook at a fast food restaurant. Before college he became familiar with restaurant kitchens by cooking at a couple of local casual dining restaurants. It wasn’t until after he graduated film school and worked as a producer in the video industry for a few years that he decided to cook and become a Chef, a passion he realized had in some way, shape, or form followed him throughout his life and experiences.
“Do what you love to do!”
Having already gone to college Chef Daniel chose to try a hands on approach to expand his culinary knowledge instead of going to culinary school. He found a cook position at a Club Med Resort in Port Saint Lucie, FL. The kitchen Daniel worked in was for an a la carte restaurant, where he worked side by side with many experienced and talented Chefs. Cooking at Club Med, Daniel started learning more about European and Asian cuisines and cultures. It was there that his eyes were opened to how big, diverse, and beautiful the culinary world really is. A few years later while cooking at a fine dining oyster bar and restaurant, Daniel met Bruno Martin, a French Chef and the mentor that would teach him the details and secrets of French cuisine and push Daniel to become a fantastic Chef.
Thirsty for more knowledge Daniel continued to learn new and finer dishes by following Chef Bruno as his Sous Chef to a restaurant in a private marina in North Palm Beach, Florida. Here Chef Daniel had more exposure to the people he was cooking for, which came from all over America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, The Caribbean, the Middle East, Australia and in turn expanded his experience and knowledge of different cuisines and cultures from all over the world.
After a couple of years of learning, experimenting, and creating dishes with the knowledge of these cuisines, Chef Daniel set out to find his first Chef de cuisine position, where he created a whole new menu and system to implement and operate his menu for the restaurant. As he continues his career, Chef Daniel’s love for cooking, dining, and food grows with new ideas and methods constantly.
Now he is taking that experience to create tailored personal chef experiences, where your meal will be tailored to your flavor palette and desires, in the comfort and beauty of your own home. His concept for Home is Where the Chef is came from years of not only cooking for many people, but also conversing with the people he has cooked for. One thing he learned through this was that many people would enjoy the services of a restaurant in the place they feel the most comfortable, their home.
Chef Daniel believes the home kitchen is special in the sense that every home kitchen is unique and has more life, personality, and flavor than a restaurant kitchen. So what he came up with is a luxurious dining experience that is custom to the occasion and people enjoying it. Chef Daniel says there is a special dining experience for every craving one might have, even those that want to get hands on with preparing the dish. The focus and attention that Chef Daniel gives each dish is unmatched and that is because he truly loves what he does.