Dan Perretta

Dan Perretta

Regional Executive Chef of What If Syndicate

One of the best decisions I've ever made as a chef was to promise myself to always explore outside of my comfort zone, to grow and constantly learn something new.

The first day I tried out for the job at Alinea we finished dinner service at about 1:30 AM. I remember watching Chef Achatz after a 15 or 16 hour day scrubbing the kitchen, the coolers and the flattop with the team. It was at that moment when I knew I wanted to work for him and that I wanted to be that type of chef and leader one day.
Take your time and organize your prep lists for the next day. Perfectly organized mise en place is everything.
Always ask questions, but learning in the kitchen requires you to pay attention and watching what is happening around you at all times
Constantly push yourself to be the best, at any project or task in the kitchen; even with the most simple tasks such as peeling a carrot. Ask yourself: Are you going as fast as you can? Is your section the cleanest in the kitchen right now? Can you do it better somehow? Question yourself all day long.
I am reminded daily when I walk into the kitchen that the team is there to do the very best they can and it is my obligation to them to ensure they learn and grow. They are the ones that make it possible for me to do what I do. My team inspires me to keep pushing, to keep evolving, to keep taking risks.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

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