Meet Dan Churchill, One of the Coolest Chefs of 2019

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Courtesy of Dan Churchill

Food is having a major moment. The space for chefs to become major entrepreneurs, owning their personal brand and promoting ancillary content through their platform, has exploded. This week we’re introducing three who need to be on your radar. Bon appétit. 

Dan Churchill—an Australian transplant to New York City—is the chef and cofounder of Charley St, a trendy fast-casual restaurant in Nolita that serves celebrity clientele a plethora of healthy options. He publishes food content across many platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, a blog and a podcast called The Epic Table. If he isn’t already, Churchill should definitely be on your radar. Take a look.

What’s your favorite meal or snack to eat before a big business meeting?

Dan Churchill: For me, a little handful of raw or dry roasted nuts does the job. They’re filled with healthy brain fuel in the form of unsaturated fats and a bit of protein too. Sometimes I’ll also do a smaller portion of one of the bowls at Charley St with greens, veggies, a healthy fat like olive oil and chicken.

What’s one aspect of your job that you knew nothing about? How did you adapt?

Churchill: So many things. For one, plumbing! Another would be the financial structuring of a fast-casual restaurant. I didn’t go into this knowing a great deal about that, though I’d consulted on other restaurants before. As one of the co-owners, you have to understand every part of the restaurant and how it operates since people come to you with questions all the time. In order to adapt, I did a lot of research and spoke to people who had been in the industry for a while for their advice.

Tell us about the time in your career when you felt the most stuck.

Churchill: I felt most stuck during my first six months of being in New York City. I was getting used to a brand-new culture and a new country, and I was away from my friends and family. I had to start again on a new path and I couldn’t just replicate my past. I also had to acclimatize myself to new consumers and get used to what the NYC and U.S. consumer is after.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to launch a business or new creative endeavor?

Churchill: Be consistent and always think about what you stand for. At the end of the day, I’m also representing my brand and my mission, and I want my business to reflect that. I want to change the world through food by providing colorful, tasty meals and options for the home cook. This is echoed at Charley St and in all the content I put out on my own channels. Think back to what your core mission and values are and act accordingly. Be consistent in your messaging and put out content that is always adding something of value to your audience.

If you could wear only one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Churchill: You have to think of all the seasons, so I think if I had to choose one outfit it would be simple chinos and a navy blue shirt from J. Crew. Shout out!

What is your favorite but easiest thing to make? Can you share your recipe?

Churchill: Smashed avocado (with salt and a bit of lemon) or Vegemite on sourdough. Simple, nutritious, filling and, most importantly, tasty!

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