Chef Daniel got her start in the foodservice industry working in restaurant kitchens and private clubs as a line cook. She then worked in garde manger and as a pastry chef, expanding her dessert-making expertise at the Rose Café and Market in Venice, CA. In 1982, Chef Daniel was hired as sous chef and dessert cook for Chez Mélange Restaurant in Redondo Beach, CA. In addition to producing pastries for the restaurant’s customers, she made cakes for its catering division and desserts for special wine dinners. Within a matter of months, Chef Daniel built the dessert area of Chez Mélange into a profit center and, before long, she was earning rave reviews in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles magazine, and the Gault Millau guide for Los Angeles. In 1985, she and fellow CIA graduate Eliot Swartz ’79 co-founded Two Chefs on a Roll as a wholesale dessert producer that sold desserts to other chefs. The company has evolved over the years into a custom and private label manufacturing company of bakery and savory products located in Carson, California with a 100,000 square foot facility. Maintaining the same food driven approach from day one Two Chefs on a Roll has grown to be recognized as one of the foremost designers and producers of innovative custom sauces, dips, soups and desserts. Among its 200 employees, Two Chefs on a Roll boasts an in-house research and development team comprised of research chefs, food scientists, and food technologists.
Active in the foodservice community, Lori Daniel has been a Member of the Corporation of The Culinary Institute of America since 1998 and currently serves on the college’s Board of Trustees. She is a mentor for the Women’s Foodservice Forum and hosts the organization’s annual leadership roundtable. In addition, Chef Daniel is involved with the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, Research Chefs Association, International Association of Culinary Professionals, National Food Processors Association, and National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. She previously served as a board member and as the Los Angeles chapter president of the former national organization Roundtable for Women in Foodservice (RWF). In 1997, Chef Daniel received RWF’s National Pacesetter Award and received the 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Women’s Foodservice Forum.