A local restaurant is getting a boost and bringing world-class taste to its customers with an award-winning competitive chef.
New Executive Chef Dan Lane at Foxboro restaurant Union Straw is heading to Chicago to compete in Culinary Fight Club’s “The Final Plate” on Oct. 6, after winning first place at the Culinary Fight Club “Here’s the Beef” Boston 2018 at Hotel Indigo Boston in Newton.
After winning the top prize and getting a ticket to compete for the national competition, Lane said the feeling was “surreal.”
“It felt like a weird dream. My friends pushed me to compete for this event and it worked out to the positive,” Lane said, adding “I was truly lucky to win it. It sparked a drive that I now have today.”
Steve Pesek, general manager of Union Straw said Chef Lane came highly recommended and the restaurant’s ownership group took to his personality and skill set and decided to hire him effective the second week of September.
“His knowledge of the local and national food scene was apparent from day one and we truly knew he would be a difference maker for our culinary program,” said Pesek.
Lane also competed in the 2019 Culinary Fight Club event “The Tailgate Throwdown” on Aug. 5 at The Hilton Boston in Woburn. He was named “People’s Choice Award” Winner and missed the top spot on the podium by one point. His experiences include a two-time World Food Championship entrant, a World BBQ Championships competitor (Memphis In May), he was the chili winner at the Battle Of The Bowls, and he finished in second place at the Mid Atlantic BBQ Expo in the sandwich category. Lane serves as pitmaster for the Grand Smoke Railroad competition BBQ team.
Pesek said Union Straw is extremely excited to have their newest team member head to Chicago for this event.
“Our team will only get better with the knowledge that Chef Lane will bring back from the competition,” Pesek said adding “Chef Lane will be competing against some of the best chefs in the world and that amount of experience and skill in one place is such an exciting thing to have our restaurant associated with.”
Lane, 40, of Waltham, started cooking at an early age of 11 alongside his grandfather. He graduated from Newbury College in Brookline in culinary arts back in 2001.
Lane said he is excited for the national competition.
“It is cool to be involved. I never expect to win anything, but if I do, it is a nice pay off for the work I have done,” said Lane, who thinks the rewarding part of being a chef is the satisfaction and joy on people’s faces when the customers taste his food and the feedback they provide.
“I love food and it should show on the plate and with the smells that our restaurant will carry through,” said Lane who hopes to bring some new tastes to Foxboro.
Union Straw is working on a new menu for the fall and winter.
Selectwoman Leah Gibson said she has not met the new executive chef yet.
“It’s very exciting though. I can’t wait to see what he brings to Foxboro,” said Gibson.
Steve Glennon, a Foxboro resident who had tried Union Straw in the past said the restaurant is fantastic with great homestyle meals and a great vibe.
“I hope to try the new menu very soon by the new executive chef especially during the football game day at Union Straw,” said Glennon.
“Chef Lane wants to put his competitive spirit to good use and add another championship in Foxboro with our culinary program,” said Pesek.