ZANESVILLE – He never imagined he’d end up where he has.
“I found myself not where I wanted to be in life,” recalled Daniel Kinsey.
He was 21, working at a job that would last eight years.
“I began having depressed thoughts I may retire there,” he remembered. “I knew then I desperately was in need of change.”
And change he did.
“Thanks to my wonderful mother and the owner of Jones Metal,” Kinsey noted, “they connected me to the food and beverage manager of Roscoe Village, where I got my start under food and beverage manager John Montgomery and executive chefs Mike English, Tom Smith and Justin Rupert.”
“Chef Dan” then jumpstarted his new career at the SportZone in Coshocton.
“I spent three years gaining experience for the future,” he noted. “Then I enjoyed being the grill chef at The Old Market House Inn for two years, then the executive chef position at the Serenity Tea House.”
Today Kinsey is executive chef at Zanesville Country Club, a position he’s held for the past four years. He started as the club’s daytime sous chef in 2009.
“After eight wonderful years,” he said, “Chef Anthony Russo told me it was my time to shine and step into the leadership role.”
Now 53, Kinsey grew up in Bakersville, Newcomerstown and West Lafayette. He graduated from Ridgewood High School in 1985, then attended Zane State to study culinary arts in 1999.
“Growing up, I had the normal life of doing my share of chores and matching wits with my seven siblings,” he remembered. “I had my classic 70s style – long, sandy blonde hair, corduroy pants, and my favorite pair of Chuck Taylor’s.”
But a career was ahead, though it was still years in the future.
“Dan is very creative and passionate about the culinary industry,” assessed Mike Kaido, general manager at Zanesville Country Club.
“Dan is a terrific chef,” agreed Mike Alfman, incoming board president at ZCC and owner of the Winerak Market. “He’s dedicated to creating menu items that are delicious far beyond anything you can imagine. He also regularly changes the menu to keep it interesting and tasty, so members never get tired of enjoying his creations.”
“First and foremost, you must love what you do,” Kinsey responded. “You must have a passion for organized chaos while being diligent in keeping food costs down, menu development and food safety. You also have to be a good listener and keep patience for your fellow co-workers and guests.”
“Every dinner is a performance,” he summed. “I’m more than a chef, I’m a showman.”
Zanesville Country Club is located at 1300 Country Club Drive. For more information, call 740-452-2726 or log on www.zanesvillecc.com.
About the series
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Zanesville Times Recorder: Executive chef at the Zanesville Country Club is a showman