Native Brit Dan Doherty continues to make in-roads as one of London’s most prominent and creative chefs. Born and raised in Shrewsbury, a quaint town nestled on the English countryside, Doherty started his career at The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts as an apprentice with London’s Michelin-starred 1 Lombard Street under the rigorous leadership of “Sergeant major” and mentor Herbert Berger.
Doherty accepted the role of Executive Chef at Duck & Waffle, London’s first 24-7 gourmet dining restaurant in 2012. He brought a diverse range of experience to the restaurant, and a rare zeal and vivacity manifested in the energy of his team and the flavours of his menu, which pays homage to classic British cookery. Always eager to challenge the way people think about food, he explains that as a chef, “there is no greater feeling than to watch someone eat and see a smile come across their face as they have this ‘aha moment.’ That’s what cooking is all about.” Doherty’s signature dishes include creative offerings such as the Foie Gras Crème Brûlée and fan-favourite, the Spicy Ox Cheek Doughnut.
With the opening of Duck & Waffle Local, a fast casual, chef-curated restaurant in the re-developed St James’s Market, Dan helped create a casual offshoot of the iconic 24-hour, sky-high eatery. Tapping the energy of the original, Duck & Waffle Local takes its playful approach to gastronomy to the street, while placing the mighty duck at its culinary core. Duck & Waffle Local, like its parent brand, still emphasises local, rustic, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, but with a more accessible, speedier and cost-friendly format.
Dan explains, “Duck is something we have always loved and we wanted to focus on even more. It’s a wonderful ingredient, and we showcase all the great cuts and offal as best we can, whilst being as accessible as possible. Whereas duck is a core part of our offering, I feel vegetables are just as important so the other half of our menu is based around the best the seasons have to offer us.”
Dan’s culinary achievements have been reflected by prestigious awards and accolades, including the title of “Rising Star Chef,” which he received at the 2013 Tatler Restaurant Awards and his acceptance into The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts as the youngest member to date. In 2014, he was named one of London’s “1000 Most Influential People” in the Tastemaker category by the London Evening Standard on more than one occasion.
His success since joining the Duck & Waffle team extends beyond the burners with Dan regularly contributing to numerous publications including Delicious, BBC Good Food, Olive and Jamie Magazine, amongst others. In 2015 Doherty launched The TMRW Project, which supports people starting out in the industry through industry talks, Chefs of Tomorrow dinners, front of house events, and providing opportunities for those coming up in the British culinary world to connect with each other across the industry and to showcase and develop the talent of aspiring young UK-based chefs. He is a long standing ambassador for Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger, raising funds through cycles in India and treks in Nepal as well as hosting charity dinners in Duck & Waffle.
Doherty’s first cookbook, Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories, was released in the autumn of 2014, featuring over 100 of his signature recipes and kitchen anecdotes. The cookbook received much critical acclaim and landed a spot on Great British Food magazine’s “Book of the Year”. The Times Magazine noted, “If you can’t make it to Duck & Waffle, you can still start the day in style with recipes from Doherty’s new cookbook.” In 2016, he released his second cookbook, ‘Toast Hash Roast Mash: Real Food for Every Time of Day’, which focuses on the recipes he cooks at home for family and friends – informal, easy and as indulgent as ever
At the culinary helm of the growing Duck & Waffle restaurant group, Doherty continues to bring his unique culinary skills to the fore and contribute to the culinary community at large with signature upbeat style.