“I worked in a few restaurants before starting with Guardian, but the foodservice industry can be kind of problematic,” he says. “Guardian provides a less stressful environment. It’s also great to work alongside people who are in a similar position; who have similar life experiences.”
He continues, “Most importantly for me as a chef is the opportunity to try new things; to explore. I tend to get bored when I’m making the same thing day after day. At Immersion I have the freedom to try cooking different dishes and to switch up the menu on a daily basis. We focus on providing clients with adequate nutrition, so I have fun creatively ensuring all dietary needs are being consistently met.”
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When asked what he enjoys cooking, Dan says, “Recently, at my own residence, I made a fall-inspired pizza with roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, a maple glaze, and Romano cheese. That turned out well. At this facility, more recently, I made a Louisiana-style muffaletta sandwich, which is basically an assortment of fine Italian deli meats. We got a full sheet pan of fresh focaccia bread from a great local bakery in Delray Beach; really good bread. A month or two ago I made some mango glazed chicken wings. Those were really good.”
In addition to gracing Immersion Recovery Center with his culinary prowess, Dan owns and operates a pizza catering company called Danny’s Pizza Picnic. “I cater events; sometimes I set up and make pizza in people’s backyards,” he said.
An Integral Part of the Client Journey
Dan doesn’t spend all of his time in the kitchen, whipping up imaginative, drool-worthy dishes. He also plays an important role in the overall client experience. “Sometimes when clients first come in they take out their frustrations on staff members,” he says. “I try to talk to everyone on a person-to-person level. That might help someone who is just coming to say, ‘Okay, this guy is just a normal guy, he’s just like me.’ It’s really nice to be able to talk to clients, to be able to share my own experience, strength, and hope with them. Being a part of the client journey is a really rewarding part of the job.”
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Dan is open about his personal experience with addiction recovery, allowing him to lend clients an ear while offering insight and support. He has been clean and sober since 2012.
What does a day in the life of an Immersion Kitchen Manager look like? “I begin developing menu ideas the night before,” Dan explains. “I make a list of the ingredients we have, and I might stop by the facility to make sure we’re prepared to start cooking the next day. If I have to, I’ll run to the store and get what I need. I’m usually there for lunch and dinner; when I get to the facility there are already some guys there working on breakfast.”
Get to Know the Pizza King
When Dan isn’t working or dreaming up inspired pies, he enjoys smoking cigars. “I collect cigars, that’s definitely a hobby of mine,” he says. “I like trying different restaurants, I like eating at different places on Atlantic Avenue. I spend time with my friends.”
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Learn More About Immersion Recovery Center
Immersion Recovery Center combines the latest advances in evidence based clinical and medical care with a fully immersive 12-step model. We have taken the best parts of traditional 12-step treatment and combined them with the highest standards of clinical and medical care to offer our clients the best tools for long-term recovery.
We offer a Three Phase approach to treating substance use disorder. Phase 1 includes Detox & Residential Treatment and is focused on stabilization. Phase 2 is focused on therapy and motivation and includes Partial Hospitalization Treatment. Phase 3 centers around reintegration and Outpatient care. Our phased approach has been proven to produce the best possible outcomes of long term recovery. We offer medical detox as a stand-alone treatment option, as well as 28-day programs. We believe that any treatment we can provide is going to make a lasting impact on our clients and their path to recovery.
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If you or someone you love has been struggling with addiction and is looking for an effective and highly individualized treatment program, we are available to help. Contact us directly to learn more about the services we provide and to begin your personal recovery journey.