Chef & Sommelier
Award-Winning Chef & Sommelier Danny Lledó is a man driven by senses. Whether a sense of community; the five senses with which food and wine resonate; or business sense.
The food and wine industries are a natural for Danny Lledó. With a heritage that includes winemakers from Spain and Portugal, as well as a father who is an accomplished chef from Denia, it’s no wonder that Danny would following their footsteps. Danny’s family’s immersion in Mediterranean cuisine, have inspired him to create dishes based on these classics that utilize seasonal ingredients, incorporate appropriately bold flavors and are presented with panache.
It’s not just his cooking that resonates with guests and colleagues alike. Danny is as comfortable jumping on the line as he is board meetings. With his Portuguese and Spanish heritage, his natural passion for food, wine and hospitality complements his other talent—a strong background in finance. Danny's diverse experience, financial savvy and entrepreneurial spirit sets him apart in today’s difficult restaurant industry.
Danny, after graduating from University of Maryland in College Park and spending three years in the financial industry; he created his own consulting company, VLC Advisory through which he consults on business ventures, real estate transactions, and the hospitality industry—especially restaurants. Little, however, could keep Danny away from his first love—serving great food to guests. He eventually decided to return to ’the family vocation, in which he now has more than a decade of experience, learning the business inside out by holding a variety of positions with industry leaders including Think Food Group and leading Spanish restaurants such as Taberna del Alabardero and Botin (known for being the world's oldest restaurant).
In 2012, Danny made the natural evolution from consultant to restaurant owner and, in his capacity, as Managing Director of Fancy Hospitality, purchased his first restaurant, Crush Kitchen & Winehouse in Annapolis, Maryland-- a struggling business that he turned into a success. In 2013, he took over management of Slate Wine Bar + Bistro in the Glover Park neighborhood in Washington, DC, now going into its fiftth year of successful operation based on serving the best products from kitchen to plate and putting the ‘hospitality’ back into the hospitality industry.
Danny's awards include Best Paella at the Paella Wine & Beer Festival in Los Angeles, California on October 2016 and People's Choice Paella at the Paella Wine & Beer Festival in Orange County, California on August 2017.