Join me for this new video series where I sit down with local chefs from Indian River County Florida and ask them my Top “ATE” Questions to learn more about them! In this episode, we sit down with my 2020 Golden Fork Awards Restaurant of the Year Chef, Dan Wood!
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Q&A with Chef Dan Wood
Dan Wood – I got my experience from a lot of great local chefs. One of the restaurants I worked at early on was Chelsea’s over on the beach. I got to work with a lot of area chefs that were frequent in and out of there. I attended Indian River State College for a little while, that’s about it.
Dan Wood – The most important thing I learned in culinary school were the basics. There’s nothing in school that can prepare you for the outside world, you really have to get in the kitchen, be around during the rushes, that’s really where you earn your stripes in my opinion.
Dan Wood – My very first culinary job was at Boston Market when they first opened. I was there cutting stuff out of bags, steaming things, cooking rotisserie chickens, stuff of that nature.
Dan Wood – I would have become a charter boat captain. I even thought of intertwining the two at one point, like doing some tours on the river involving food, maybe taking people out on the ocean and doing some things out there, doing dinners on the island, stuff like that. Going fishing sounded like a great living!
Dan Wood – Just seeing the look on peoples faces, enjoying the dishes that you created. Number 2 would be just being able to go any where in the country, or any where in the world and be able to have some kind of employment there waiting for me.
Dan Wood – The higher quality proteins, Wagyu beef, Niman Ranch pork, Bell & Evans chicken. I like working with those products, you can honestly taste the difference between a regular store bought and then somebody who actually took the time to create a good product.
Dan Wood – It’s just a simple, 8 inch or 10 inch chef’s knife. It’s versatile, you can do just about anything with it, dice, julienne, slice, it’s just a good all around tool.
Dan Wood – One of my biggest inspirations is Chef Gordon Ramsey. Not necessarily because of the shows he’s been on like Hell’s Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares, it’s because some of the shows he does where he goes to a different country and uses local ingredients to create regional dishes with the people of that country and tries to beat them at their own game. Just seeing him be able to go there and do things with different ingredients, and different people around the world is pretty inspiring.