For serious foodies, The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is something of an open secret. Its collection of chef led restaurants and catering services house some of the best dining locations on property for lovers of great food. We’re always telling people about the restaurants there and the response is almost always, ‘I never think of eating there.’ But you should. From fantastic dining options like Todd English’s BlueZoo and Il Mulino to the character dining experience at Garden Grove you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy. And since the restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin Resort aren’t on the Disney Dining Plan, you’re not paying over-inflated prices either.
With 17 food and beverage outlets, a large banquet business, and a staff of over 200, it takes an experienced chef to keep keep it all running smoothly and continually out perform guest expectations. Chef Dan Herman has that experience, having worked at the Swan and Dolphin Resort for nearly 20 years, most recently as executive sous chef. Herman was just promoted to the role of executive chef where he will oversea all culinary operations for the resort.
“Chef Herman’s dedication to his craft and the resort is unmatched,” said Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort General Manager Fred Sawyers. “His talent and experience make him a unique asset to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.”
Herman began his career at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in 1999 and has since played a vital role in the resort’s culinary success. He has developed multiple training and development programs and was instrumental in creating the resort’s Food & Wine Classic. Herman also helped expand the food and beverage scene at the resort, overseeing the openings of critically acclaimed restaurants including Il Mulino and Todd English’s bluezoo, recognized by USA Today as a Top 10 Foodie Spot.
With over 23 years of culinary experience since receiving his degree in food service management from Radford University, Chef Herman’s creative menus and his profound ability to lead profitable hotel culinary operations have been credited as key components of the resort’s numerous dining awards. Among the honors Herman and his teams have received during his tenure include numerous recognitions from the National Association of Catering Executives, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, AAA, TripAdvisor, USA Today, Orlando Sentinel and multiple opportunities to present at the James Beard House.
Prior to becoming the resort’s executive chef, Herman was named executive sous chef in 2006 and was successful in overseeing five casual dining restaurants and a multi-faceted commissary kitchen. In this position, he designed, planned and implemented innovative new menus focused on seasonality, incorporating local, organic and sustainable products. Under his leadership of banquets, the resort continually achieved Marriott’s highest Event Satisfaction Scores.
Herman initially joined the resort’s culinary team as a restaurant chef. Two years later, he was promoted to complex banquet chef where he thrived in leading the culinary department of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s award-winning banquets division. He was responsible for developing new menus with an elegant flair and intimate style for VIP groups and banquets, sometimes as large as 400 guests.
Before joining the Swan and Dolphin culinary team, he was chef de cuisine of Arthur’s 27 at Wyndham Palace Resort and Spa in Orlando.
We look forward to seeing continued excellence from the resturants at the Swan and Dolphin Resort. If you’ve never been, the Swan and Dolphin Resort’s yearly Food and Wine Classic (usually the last weekend of October) is a great way to sample the best tastes from of each of the restaurants talented chefs.