Washington State Chef's
Member Spotlight - May 2010
Dan Lewark CEC, AAC, CCE
Dan Lewark began his culinary career at a very young age. He bussed tables and washed dishes at a local hotel. He found himself staying after his shift to work for free with the cooks and the passion was born. As a senior in high school he enrolled in Darrel Andersons Culinary program at the Occupational Skills Center. Darrel’s enthusiasm was infectious providing more and more opportunities to learn. At the same time Dan had earned a chance to work as a full time dinner pantry cook at the Holiday Inn and moved up the ladder from there. Darrel Anderson asked him to come to the Washington State Chef’s meeting and apply as a junior member. During that meeting mentor Chef’s like Carl Hutter, Evelyn Enslow, Mel Fortson and Michel Deville inspired and encouraged the incredible passion that was building inside him.
After working at “Michel’s” Michel sent him to train at Maxims Restaurant Francaise in Chicago. From there the path led to Sheraton Hotels, Red lion Hotels at three locations, was featured on 6 episodes of AM and PM Northwest a local television show as well as their opening of the La Posada in Scottsdale Arizona, Beverly Plaza Hotel, L’Ermitage Restaurant Francaise in Beverly Hills California and Chez Michael Restaurant Francaise in San Francisco where he had the opportunity to cook for guests like Chef’s Roger Verge, Jacques Pepin and Hubert Keller. Julius Castle and The Shadows Restaurant Francaise in San Francisco were also part of the journey. Dan traveled around the country learning and practicing his craft at some of the country’s finest establishments receiving dozens of glowing newspaper and magazine reviews.
In the late 80’s Dan was asked to head up the kitchen at Landau’s, a new Bellevue restaurant. After years of working away from home it was time to take his young family back to Seattle. His menu was a blend of Asian, French and Italian flavors and received rave reviews for years. Dan was hired as Executive Chef at Sand Point Country Club in 1994. Since then, he has continued to impress the members and their guests with his extraordinary cuisine.
Throughout his career, Dan has been committed to the education and training of himself and the people that work with him. He has been an ACF mentor to many aspiring chefs and an Approved Certification Evaluator (ACE) and current Competition Chair.
View his favorite recipe below…
After a long week at work, I love a good braise on my days off. It’s easy and it is especially good the next day.
Yield: Serves Four
- 1 ea 3 ½ lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup sherry wine or a fruity white wine
- 8 ea garlic cloves, thin sliced
- 1 ea sprig fresh thyme
- 2 t red pepper powder
- 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 ea lemon, zest and juice
- 1 ½ oz olive oil
- 2 ea chorizo sausage
- 1 ea onion, cut into large dice
- 2 ea red bell peppers cut into large dice
- 2 ea tomatoes cut into large dice
- 1 cup chicken stock
- The night before your day off – Combine wine, garlic, thyme, red pepper powder,red pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade reserving the marinade.
- Let drain and pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat olive oil in your braising pan and sear to a beautiful golden brown. Set aside.
- In the same pan sear the chicken pieces on both sides also to a golden brown and set aside.
- Add the onions and peppers and sauté until soft.
- Add the reserved marinade and over high heat and reduce the liquid by half.
- Add the chicken, chorizo, tomatoes and chicken stock.
- Bring to a simmer, cover with parchment and lid.
- Place into a 325 degree oven for approximately 1 hour.
- Put some brown rice in the rice cooker and now you can go out and mow the lawn and wash the car. Me, I am going to ride my Harley. When you come back in, the house will smell great!!!!
- Grab a good loaf of French bread and a small salad and your there.