Dan’s baking journey began when he was in a store in 2015 – he was sitting on a couch and opened the nearest book, which boasted images of galettes, English muffins, bagels, and scones. He was alongside his wife to whom he said, “I think I want to try baking some of this stuff”.
The first thing he ever baked was sourdough bread, and to this day it’s still his favorite thing to bake – he says it’s different every single time you make it, and that you must pay attention to every little detail because if you mess up, you must start over from scratch. So, it was no surprise when we asked Dan what type of person makes a good baker, he said someone with patience and the ability to embrace failure.
Almost immediately, Dan enrolled in the French Pastry School in Chicago, graduating in 2016. He hit the ground running after this – he worked his way up to Head Baker at the West Town Bakery and then at Soho House Chicago – and hasn’t slowed down since. When COVID-19 began in 2019, Dan was determined to stay connected to his craft, so he began baking and selling out of home. He did this until he was able to head back to Soho House where he baked for their three restaurants.
Dan has a unique baking style that keeps people hooked. He marries traditional techniques with creative flavor profiles. His take on the Chicago Dog is a perfect example – he combines a Vienna Beef dog with crunchy relish, whole grain mustard, sun-dried tomatoes, and a French gherkin pickle before wrapping it into a classic butter-croissant pastry. This has been dubbed as the “Best Gourmet Take on the Chicago Dog,” as it is both intricate and decadent.
Come 2022, we were thrilled to welcome Dan the Baker to The Emily Hotel! You can find Dan’s sourdough breads, pastries, and desserts at The Coffee Bar in The Emily Hotel – and better yet, you can order in advance, through Hotplate, for pick-up. Dan’s menu often rotates with the seasons – caramel apple monkey bread, pumpkin cream cruffins, and chocolate hazelnut Bostocks (to name a few) are currently on offer. We’ll see you soon!
Quick fact: Dan has always had a creative side! Dan was an actor before he became a baker.
Quick fact: chatting with Dan for an hour about all things baked goods is NOT a good idea if you're hungry.