Daniel Elliot ’13

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Daniel Elliot ’13

“I’ve already started my business plan to open up a catering company and food truck in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do, and I have all the tools in place to make it happen now.” – Daniel Elliot ’13

Major: Culinary Arts
Campus: Hyde Park, NY
Hometown: Ashburn, VA

The Team Concept

For Dan Elliot, being a part of a team is something he’s been doing most of his life. So his dual role as CIA student and captain of the college’s basketball team comes pretty naturally to him. Whether in the kitchen, in the classroom, or on the court, Dan has learned from the get-go that there really is no “I” in “team.”

“When I was a junior in high school, I worked at Wegmans as a prepared food server, but I spent much of my time with the chefs in the kitchen,” Dan says. “So I did an interview with Chef Jason Lage at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg (Virginia) and started working there. Chef Lage is the one who first got me hooked on cooking. He mentored me, made me one of ‘his guys’ in the kitchen there.”

Dan so loved cooking that he decided to go to culinary school and make it a career. “I did some research, and saw where a lot of the top chefs came from and the impact of the CIA name in the industry. So I toured the campus in the fall; it was beautiful! And here I am.”

He also happily noticed another thing when he looked into the CIA—it had an intercollegiate basketball team, the CIA Steels. “I played in high school, so I talked to Serge (Nalywayko) in the recreation department when I got here,” he recalls. “This was really my last chance to play on a school team, so I joined.”

Turns out, not only has Dan been a valuable member of the team, he’s also been one of its leaders. “We currently only have two guys who played last year. Everyone else is a first-year player,” he says. “ As the starting power forward and a captain of the team, I try and bring intensity and hustle to the guys and empower the players around me to get better. I use practice time to try and motivate my teammates. I feel that we are only as good as our weakest link, so I will continue to push everybody to pick up the guy next to them.”

That team camaraderie is starting to pay off. After a slow start to the season, the team went on a winning streak and the Steels are feeding off that success. “Now that we’ve won a couple of games, we’re growing together, pushing ourselves even more,” Dan says. “We just want to win.”

He’s bringing the same intensity to his CIA classes, and to his plans after earning his BPS degree. “With course topics like financial accounting, HR management, and business planning, the bachelor’s program will definitely be beneficial to me and my career,” he says. “First I’m going back to Virginia to work for Chef Lage at his new place, Market Table Bistro. He’s really into local product, working together with farmers, which is what I want too. And the same guys I was friends with at Lansdowne—Jason Brusky and Jamison Imlah—are working there with Chef, so ‘his guys’ will all be back together.”

Ultimately, Dan wants to head up his own team. “I’ve already started my business plan to open up a catering company and food truck in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do, and I have all the tools in place to make it happen now.”

With Dan Elliot at the helm, it’s sure to be a winning team.

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