Dan grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather. He began his career in foodservice at the age of fourteen as a dishwasher and prep cook at a traditional Midwestern supper club. He began cutting meat while a student at Northern Michigan University. After graduating with an Associate of Science in Hospitality Management he followed his true passion and moved to the north woods of Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, where he earned his Associate of Science in Culinary Arts. While a student he interned at Encore Bistro in Memphis under Master Chef Jose Gutierrez. Upon graduation he remained in Vermont and worked under Chef Kirk Fiore at the Intervale's Sugar Snap Cafe.
He honed his meat cutting skills at Groppi Market in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dan went on to be the opening butcher at Honey Pie and Braise restaurants, and then became the Executive Chef at La Merenda Restaurant in Milwaukee’s historic Walker’s Point. In 2012 he completed the 34th Annual Sausage & Processed Meats short course at Iowa State University. He remained in Milwaukee until his departure in 2013 to become the Sous Chef at the Big Sur Bakery. He left that position to live off the grid in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where he was a farmer, and built and lived in his own tree house.
In 2018 he returned to Milwaukee and opened the La Merenda Market and Butcher shop with Peter Sandroni. He plans to continue his study of butchery more formally in Europe in 2020.