On the Road with…Chef Dan Kluger

It’s easy to fall in love with ABC Kitchen‘s charm, ambiance, and inventive menu. It’s also easy to fall in love with its Executive Chef, Dan Kluger.

Between running two restaurants (ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina) and spending time with his wife and two girls, Chef Kluger is constantly on-the-go. For this On the Road With… we caught up with the busy guy to learn more about his hectic schedule, what he has planned for the future, and how Uber helps him get where he needs to go.

Name: Dan Kluger

How did you get started in your field? I went to Syracuse and ended up taking some nutrition and food science-related classes. I got really into the idea of restaurant management. I met Danny Meyer and did an internship in the dining room at Union Square Cafe and loved it. I spent my time off in the kitchen and got hooked!

What does your typical day look like? Depends on the day and time of the year. Typically I am up at 7am and see my kids off to school. Then go to the market in Union Square to do a preliminary run through, go to the gym, and then go back to the market to help my guys bring everything back to the restaurant. Then I run through emails and check in with both kitchens. I typically then help expedite lunch or cook on the line. Once lunch is finished, I get some paperwork and meetings done. Then I head back to the kitchens and dining rooms for their respective pre-shift meetings. I’ll then cook or expedite until it slows down and I can get a little more work done before heading home (normally around 11pm). When I  get home, it’s time to watch a little TV and have a glass of wine. Bed.

Where can we typically find you on your day off? In Park Slope, Brooklyn at a playground or taking the kids out for frozen yogurt at Culture.

What are your top 3 NYC go-to spots (restaurants, bars, stores, museums, workouts, etc.)? 8th Street Wine Cellar, Charlie Bird, Flywheel

Word on the street is that moonlight as a DJ. Is this true? No. I used to DJ on Saturday nights after working at Tabla. It was a crazy time.

What songs or artists are currently on your playlist? I’m lazy and typically just put on Spotify top 100 or Jay Z. Special playlists have lots of old school hip-hop or jazz, like Dave Brubeck and Ella Fitzgerald. One of my favorites is a playlist that has everything from old R&B (stuff that has been sampled for more popular songs) to Jackson 5 and even Adele and Billy Joel. 

How long have you been using Uber? Do you remember your first Uber trip? Dec. 31, 2012. My first trip was New Year’s Eve. My second trip was at 5am on New Year’s Day… Ouch.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take? From work to home late at night.

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber? I’ve had many, but one of the best was just recently when I was running late for the James Beard Awards. Our driver was totally on top of it.

What’s next for Dan Kluger? Funny you should ask.

Do you know someone who we should profile? Let us know! Send us a notetweet us, tag us in an Instagram post, or employ a carrier pigeon. Regardless of the medium, we’d love to hear from you. 

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