Born and raised in northern New England, Chef Daniel Bruce graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, and then traveled to Italy and France for more traditional training. Upon his return to the United States, he began working in New York City at 21, becoming in quick time the youngest Executive Chef in the history of that iconic restaurant.
In 1989, when he was one of the country’s most promising young culinary talents, Bruce was lured into the kitchens of Boston’s landmark waterfront hotel, the five star Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf. His passion for food and wine launched the Boston Wine Festival, the nation’s longest-running food and wine pairing series – a culinary marathon lasting three months and including more than 50 events. Over the years, Bruce has worked with the finest winemakers from around the world and created more than three thousand original dishes, each one designed to perfectly complement the special wine with which it was served.
Chef’s dream, however, was to create a signature restaurant with an innovative concept all his own. That dream became a reality with the October 2002 opening of Meritage, a bold restaurant featuring the pairing of culinary flavors to wine flavors, rather than the traditional pairings of grape varietals and cuisine. Lovingly created by Bruce, the restaurant is a true manifestation of his personal passion, housed in the beauty and elegance of the city’s architectural treasures.
Today Bruce keeps himself busy creating new menus at Meritage and bringing the Wine Festival to new cities. In 2006 he launched the French Quarter Wine Festival at the Maison Dupuy in New Orleans, and in 2010 he launched the Capital Wine Festival at the Jockey Club at the Fairfax at Embassy Row. Chef Bruce is presently serving as culinary consultant for the grand reopening of the Jockey Club, creating the menus and modernizing the classic cuisine with his typical inventive flair.
Internationally-renowned, Chef Bruce was recently awarded the title of Vice Consellier Culiniaire, Bailliage de Boston, and he has been honored twice as one of the Best Hotel Chefs in America at the James Beard House. Additionally, Bruce is an honorary member of Chevalier du Tastevin and has been recognized by Boston Magazine as the city’s Best Hotel Chef. Chef Bruce has made numerous live television appearances on national programs such as NBC’s Today and Live with Regis and Kelly. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Johnson & Wales University in 1996.