About Dan & Culinary Guide Shop

 

PAST & PRESENT CLIENTS

Beginnings

Dan’s love of cooking began in a back shed of his Grandparents' house where all the canned and cured food items were stored. They were the first to teach Dan about stewardship of land, animals and wellness. After graduating from Ole Miss, Dan found a job in the financial industry in New Orleans where his passion for all things epicurean grew.  In 1998, Dan left the security of his financial job and took his first giant step into the culinary world by enrolling in the French Culinary Institute in New York where fate introduced him to his first mentor, Mario Batali. After many discussions bonding over airplanes and salami (two passions of both men) a friendship was formed and Dan landed his first culinary job as a lead chef at one of Mr. Batali’s New York City restaurants, Po, in the West Village.

From Po, Dan helped Mr. Batali launch a Salumeria in Studio del Gusto at Italian Wine Merchants, an early concept of Eataly, Mr. Batali’s 50,000 square foot Italian food mecca in the heart of Manhattan.  Here Dan ran the day-to-day operations, hosted cooking classes and managed the charcuterie program.  In between his jobs at Po and Italian Wine Merchants, Dan also moonlighted in the kitchens of The Food Network on some of the network’s most notable programs.

L&M Kitchen

In 2003, Dan and his wife Meredith, also an Ole Miss grad, left Manhattan to make their own mark in the culinary world by opening a restaurant in a place dear to both of their hearts and close to their families, Oxford, MS.  L&M Kitchen was born and quickly became a fixture in the ever-expanding southern food scene.  At L&M Kitchen, Dan brought together his passion for Southern American and Italian cuisines.  After 2 short years, L&M Kitchen was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of the “best farm-to-table restaurants in the South” and Dan was honored with a nomination from the James Beard Foundation as Best Chef South.

Culinary Guide Shop

After 5 years of great culinary success at L&M Kitchen, Dan and Meredith left small-town life for new challenges and opportunities for their family in Atlanta, GA. Building upon his own restaurant experience, Dan launched his consulting business focusing on helping clients bring affordable, wholesome and environmentally sound ingredients from food service companies to restaurants to the customer’s plate.  Dan’s first clients included Birmingham-based Jim & Nick’s BBQ (34 locations) and Blackberry Farm where he helping guide the group through the development of their butchershop and salumi program. His consulting business grew to support up-and-coming restaurants all across the south including Farmburger in Atlanta and Saint Leo in Oxford Mississippi.  In late 2017, the business was rebranded as the Culinary Guide Shop, a name that marries two of Dan’s great passions, food and fly fishing.