|Ask Chef Dan Dunn|
Chef Dan Dunn, known locally as "Dano," has been a celebrated chef in Pensacola for more than 20 years. Pensacola natives have followed his career since its humble beginnings in the award-winning Jubilee restaurant on Pensacola Beach. Working nights in Jubilee's kitchen was the ideal place for Dan to pursue his first passion: surfing. Spending his mornings catching waves and his evenings learning the restaurant culture set the stage for a thriving culinary career and love of the industry.
Dan's passion and creativity combined with his drive and incredible work ethic quickly moved him up through the ranks to sous chef and then executive chef. Working many years as a chef in Pensacola, the depth of his fan base increased. In 1998, Dan surprised everyone by turning down a coveted position as executive chef in an emerging new restaurant in Downtown Pensacola, deciding instead to refine his skills and broaden his culinary horizons by attending the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Ore. Graduating with honors and interning for well-established gems in Portland, Dan diversified his knowledge and skills with fresh, urban cuisine and the Pacific Northwest palette. Famous for wine, seafood and amazing growing seasons, Oregon was able to supply Dan with a new montage of flavors and styles to play with.
Dan returned to Pensacola and worked in several of the best restaurants in town including the Fish House, Jackson's and Lou Michael's Downtown. At Lou Michael’s, he was able to shine with an innovative menu and unique dining experience. He reconnected with old clients and created a whole new local following. In 2000, he was voted "Best Chef of the Coast" by the readers of the Independent News. From 2004-2007 Dan once again leapt forward with running his own company, The Art of Catering, wherehe created many unforgettable meals. In addition to catering, Dan's passion and creativity spilled out into more aspects of his life as he took up painting and enjoyed the balance of spending more time with his wife and two sons. Dan’s drive to learn more eventually led him to his current position as executive chef of the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front. His hybrid style and use of fresh, local ingredients are an exciting contribution to in-house restaurant H2O, Latitudes Bar and Grill and the Hilton’s extensive private events and weddings.