Today we introduce you to Dan St. Jean, Executive Chef of The Common Man Family of Restaurants. Chef St. Jean oversees all kitchen operations, chefs, menu creation and food events for the six Common Man-named locations.
Chef St. Jean began with The Common Man as the Kitchen Manager for the newly-opened Lakehouse Grille in Meredith in 2004. He left to pursue other job opportunities, and re-joined the company in April 2014 as the Kitchen Manager at The Common Man in Windham. Chef St. Jean was promoted into his current role in the fall of 2014.
A New Hampshire native, Chef St. Jean's love for the restaurant business started at age 13. He worked in several local restaurants throughout high school, until he enrolled as a student at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduation in 1994, Chef St. Jean was hired as a sous chef at The Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, VA.
Chef St. Jean moved back to the Granite State in 1996, landing a job at one of the state’s only Four Diamond properties, The Bedford Village Inn. Over the course of eight years, Chef St. Jean worked his way through the ranks from line cook to sous chef to special events chef before joining The Common Man to assist in opening Lakehouse Grille.
Beyond his Executive Chef duties, Chef St. Jean is also committed to The Common Man’s mantra to “DO GOOD” and is often seen representing the company at community events and fundraisers. He has also competed in (and won) The Common Man’s Iron Chef competition.
A little more about Chef St. Jean:
What are you most influenced by in your cooking?
I am most influenced on the guests is looking for. I like to develop our
menus based on trends they want.
What is your culinary background?
I started working in kitchens when I was 13 years old. Working my way through locals restaurants through high school. I then attended Johnson and Wales University in Providence RI. After graduation I worked at several 4 Diamond properties on the east coast. I have opened several restaurants for other private owners. I am currently the Executive Chef for the 6 Common Man restaurants in the state of NH.
What is your favorite dish to make?
This is a hard one, but I think it is any dish that makes someone smile and create a great memory for them.
How would you describe your restaurant's cuisine?
The Common Man's cuisine is New England comfort for with a twist.
What is your go-to item on your restaurant's menu?
That is a toss up. If I am craving steak, I would order our espresso rubbed New York sirloin topped with garlic butter and served with maple-bacon roasted Brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. Then it would be between our pulled pork mac-n-cheese or our roasted chicken pot pie. YUM.