HOMETOWN: Chicago, IL
CURRENT CITY OF RESIDENCE: Milwaukee, WI
OCCUPATION/PROFESSION: Chef and co-owner, EsterEv & Dandan
Born and raised in Chicago, Dan Jacobs moved to Milwaukee with his wife, Kate, after looking for a change of scenery. Dan is the Head Chef and co-owner of acclaimed Milwaukee restaurants EsterEv, a globally inspired tasting menu concept, and Dandan, a modern Chinese-American concept with Midwest sensibility. Dan and his business partner, Dan Van Rite, are 6x James Beard Best Chef Midwest Semi-Finalists who extend their work far past the kitchen. Jacobs is a board member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), was instrumental in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund’s $28.6B raise in 2021 and was one of four to speak to President Joe Biden on behalf of the independent restauranteurs. The same year Dan opened his restaurants, he was diagnosed with Kennedy’s Disease, a genetic neuromuscular ailment commonly mistaken for ALS. With a disease that often makes simple tasks like walking upstairs or chopping an onion feel like a massive undertaking, he’s proud to run two standout restaurants and raise money for Kennedy’s Disease awareness.