Chef Dan Hall brings about a lifetime and a half of cooking and restaurant experience to Perro Salado. In his 30 years in the industry, he has had the opportunity to work in a vast array of establishments, from a 3-star French Nouvelle restaurant to a Western truck stop. He has helped to open 4 restaurants and managed kitchen crews as large as 30.
Along the way, Dan has taken something valuable and useful from each experience, whether it was an appreciation for the freshest ingredients or a mean recipe for hash browns.
Like many passionate professional chefs, Dan began cooking at a very young age, at home. As a youngster, he liked to play with his food…but instead of making Play-Doh spaghetti, Dan loved the results he got with his kitchen’s hand-cranked meat grinder.
While a student at the University of Miami, Dan fell in love with the fresh, feisty flavors of the city. He was inspired to move to New York – the epicenter of culinary trends, and fell in love with the culinary options presented to him on a daily basis – any kind of food imaginable, from all over the globe, always fresh and seasonal. He enrolled in cooking school and eventually returned to Miami where he spent three years at Lucky’s at the Park Central Hotel in South Beach. Here, he honed his skills in Nouvelle cuisine and traditional French techniques.
In 1989, Dan moved to Boston, where cooking in the Italian North End taught him about the simple, finer treatments of meats, seafood, pasta and vegetables. But then it was back to New York – Brooklyn this time – to open and run the kitchen at a bar-taqueria. He realized here that there were actually many similarities between Mexican and Italian cuisine, especially the importance of freshness of ingredients in the final product.
At Perro Salado, Dan makes use of Rhode Island’s many small farms, fisherman and farmer’s markets in creating his menu, which interprets authentic Mexican in a creative, fresh, simple way.