Chef Dan Watterson started his career in the kitchen at Orlando, Florida where he was born and raised. His first foray into the kitchen was during the summer of his junior year in high school, at Harvey’s Bistro on Park Ave in Orlando’s Central Business District. Dan brought with him the influence of his mother and grandmother’s Italian cooking. As a young man, Dan loved rummaging through his parents’ pantry and experimenting with whatever he could get his hands on. Learning what flavors and ingredients tasted well together, and which didn’t, was what brought him to want to learn about and love food.
When Chef Dan finished high school, he moved to Providence, Rhode Island where he earned a bachelor’s degree from Johnson & Wales University. After his time in Rhode Island, he was a stagiaire at two different Michelin-rated restaurants in England, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Waterside Inn. Dan took this time to hone his classic skills while developing avant garde skills in the European culinary scene. When he returned to the United States, he landed the sous chef job at The Inn at Little Washington where he was in charge of a team of 25 cooks for almost three years. He also spent time as a Sous Chef with the Hamptons Restaurants, Matchbox group, and now is with Starr Restaurants based out of Philadelphia.
Chef Dan has moved up quickly within Starr Restaurants. After nine months as Sous Chef, Dan Watterson was promoted to Chef de Cuisine of Le Diplomate in Washington, DC. Le Diplomate is one of the busiest and move vibrant restaurants in Washington, making the top 100 Restaurants in Washingtonian Magazine (#14 in 2015). Chef Dan loves what he does at Le Diplomate, and has been travelling to develop the team for Starr Restaurants’ newest venture, Le Zoo in Miami. Dan’s favorite part of working at Le Diplomate is getting to know all of his employees from different countries, and meeting famous politicians who come in for dinner regularly. His favorite politician to cook for is Joe Biden!
Dan enjoys playing golf, watching Arsenal beat Chelsea, and trying out new restaurants. Go in and say hi to Chef Dan, and if you like seafood, they have an enormous and delicious petit or grand plateu. And don’t forget to tell him Keany sent you!