Chef Daniel Bruce
Consulting Chef, Chopps American Bar and Grill
More than twenty-four years ago, when Chef Daniel Bruce was one of the country’s most promising young culinary talents, he was lured into the kitchens of Boston’s landmark waterfront hotel, the five star Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf. Almost immediately upon taking the reins, his passion for pairing the flavors in food and wine launched the hotel’s most successful ongoing event, the Boston Wine Festival. More than twenty-three seasons later, the Festival has evolved into a world renowned series featuring winemakers from some of the world’s best wineries. Through two decades of developing the Festival, Daniel has created more than three thousand original dishes, each one designed to perfectly complement the special wine with which it was served.
Daniel has earned the Boston Harbor Hotel a reputation for excellence in its culinary offerings. Meritage, one of Boston’s few Forbes four star restaurants, is the manifestation of Daniel’s passion for food and wine pairing, a bold restaurant with an innovative menu designed to marry culinary flavors to wine flavors. On the first floor of the hotel, the waterfront Rowes Wharf Sea Grille, celebrates the sea through its breathtaking setting, nautically-influenced design, and menu which reflects the best of the local catch—the freshest seafood prepared in a minimalist yet artful way.
While always focused on the Boston Harbor Hotel, Daniel still has found time to lend his expertise elsewhere and expand his beloved Festival and Meritage to other cities. In 2010 Daniel brought the Festival to two new cities, Washington D.C. and Berkeley, CA. The Capital Wine Festival launched at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, and the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa welcomed the Berkeley Wine Festival. The Festival’s growth and success have also generated new culinary endeavors in the host hotels. Inspired by Meritage, Daniel worked on the opening of new Meritage restaurant at the Claremont, which also celebrates food and wine pairings.
Born and raised in northern New England, Daniel Bruce graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, and then traveled to Italy and France for more traditional training. Upon his return to the United States, he began working in New York City at 21, becoming in quick time the youngest executive chef in the history of that legendary restaurant. Daniel’s dream, however, was to return home to New England and find a place where he could fully develop the many dimensions of his talent and culinary interests.
Now in his third decade at the Boston Harbor Hotel, Daniel has never allowed his time at the hotel to become routine, always finding creative ways to broaden the culinary experience of his restaurants’ patrons and guests of the hotel. Internationally-renowned, Daniel Bruce has been awarded the title of Vice Consellier Culiniaire, Bailliage de Boston, and he has been honored twice as one of the "Best Hotel Chefs in America" at the James Beard House. In 2009 Daniel was the featured chef at the Celebrity Chef and Winemaker Auction Dinner at the Nantucket Wine Festival, as tribute to two decades of dedication to wine and food education. Additionally, Daniel is an honorary member of Chevalier du Tastevin and has been recognized by Boston magazine as the city's Best Hotel Chef.
Daniel has made numerous live television appearances on national programs such as NBC's Today and Live with Regis and Kelly. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Johnson & Wales University in 1996 and in 2013, Daniel was awarded Chef of the Year by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.