Hi all! I’m (Chef) Dana! You may know me as the former Chef de Cuisine at The Chef’s Table in Walker’s Point. If you do, you know that I have a deep curiosity about food and the guts to try out new flavor combinations. I shine in creating dishes and menus that pull from the roots of multiple culinary traditions and cuisines and by applying different ingredients, flavors, and techniques to come up with something new and unique.
Although I have a serious resume – working for award-winning chefs in Minneapolis and New York City, leading a culinary team at a fine dining restaurant in Guatemala, graduating from The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City – I’m a very laid back person who tries to find comedy and joy in everything. The experience of working in another country and language really allowed me to develop my culinary voice. I believe in the exploration of food, and I find immense joy in the fact that there are indeed new ideas and ways to express my passion through the universal language of “yum”.
I came to work with Simple Eats Mke because Krysta offered me a glimpse into what a career outside of the traditional restaurant might look like. My goal is to carve out a career that puts at its heart, my passion for culinary exploration. I am excited to connect with clients who share a love of interesting and elevated food in order to create curated menus and culinary experiences for your next meal or event. There’s so much more to a meal than its ingredients, for those whose “love language” is food, let’s start a conversation and see where it takes us!
I’d love to share with you a few dishes that highlight some of my favorite things to make:
Ice cream is such a fun medium for trying new flavors – everyone loves ice cream so it’s okay to get funky. Nothing says I love you more than personalized decadence (you should’ve seen my dad’s face when I scooped up his favorite candy bar in the form of almond joy ice cream for his birthday)! I developed this Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Strawberry Tomato Jam recipe because I had a lot of corn cobs in my freezer (I hate to waste) and a bunch of tomatoes and strawberries that were on their last days.
SWEET CORN ICE CREAM WITH STRAWBERRY TOMATO JAM
If you’ve ever spent more than an hour with me, you know I have an “addiption” (a hereditary addiction to dip). I try to find healthy vehicles for dips and sauces that highlight seasonal ingredients and add a playful take on the standards (you need to try my version of the Christensen family “Crack dip” for your next event!). Okay, back to healthy. This recipe for Black Bean Cakes with Avocado Chimichurri is an excellent way to celebrate “Meatless Mondays” (if you swing that way) and utilize the bounty of seasonal herbs.
BLACK BEAN CAKES WITH AVOCADO CHIMICHURRI
If you’ve ever been weary of combining hot food with cold food, you’re not alone. People think a meal needs to be one or the other, but the play between temperatures and textures is an interesting and fun way to explore flavors – especially as the weather (finally!) is warming up. My recipe for Air Fried Cod with Grapefruit Salad and Roasted Spring Vegetables is a great place to start.
COD W/ GRAPEFRUIT & ROASTED SPRING VEGGIES
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and check out a very small sample of my culinary viewpoint. I hope you will try these recipes and play with them to make them your own. Further, I’d love to work with you to find ways to help you share your love for food while leaving the work to me!