Daniel Ruiz experiences culinary life

For featured culinarian Daniel Ruiz, food is a passion that goes beyond that of just tasting. His love of cuisine is in both the preparation and exploration of all things culinary.

His focus on current trends in the food industry, as well as his drive to expand his understanding of flavors and cooking styles, have resulted in some truly delicious results, which appear to only be getting more impressive with time.

Though having briefly worked at Miller Park as a utility cook, Ruiz credits the Iron Horse Hotel as the professional start to his culinary career nearly three years ago. Without having significant prior experience, Ruiz started as an in-room dining attendant with full intentions of working his way into the kitchen within six months; though had the opportunity not occurred, he planned to seek a kitchen position elsewhere. “There was a six-month risk on my part that ended up working out,” he stated.

Regardless of having only recently started working in the field, Ruiz has been making great strides in his class work; a fact that he claims is paying off in the workplace. “Things that I learn at school I take to work, and it makes me… more of an asset to my chefs, and vice versa,” he said. “I’m getting two techniques for everything that I do with school and work, so I’m able to see more options and pick and choose what works better for me.”

When asked about chefs that inspire his work, Ruiz cites David Wolfe, executive sous chef at the Iron Horse. “[Wolfe] has been a big help to me, and I really admire him,” Ruiz said. “It’s nice to learn from someone who was taught from people from Italy or France. You feel like you were taught a little from them.”

Ruiz encourages readers to branch out and try new foods, as it will open up endless opportunities for growth during their own personal culinary explorations. “I guarantee you that there’s something out there that you may not look at like you’ll like it, but you’ll thoroughly enjoy it. You’ll want more.”

Interested in what Ruiz is cooking these days? Come sample his cooking in Cuisine in M102 on the Downtown  Milwaukee Campus, Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. – noon.