Dave Swanson, Chef/Owner
Dave began his journey in the culinary world at age 16 in a small restaurant in his hometown of Lake Villa, IL. It was here that he was introduced to the wonders of food and never looked back.
He trained at Kendall College, Chicago's preeminent culinary arts school. Dave also had the opportunity to spend some time at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, honing his skills of classical French cuisine.
After graduating from Kendall College, Dave moved down to New Orleans to work at the infamous Commander's Palace. During his time in New Orleans Dave found his passion for American regional cooking and decided to come back to his roots and explore the bounty of the Midwest.
Dave continued his career at some of the Chicago area's most prominent restaurants including Le Titi de Paris, Carlos' Restaurant and Le Francais. In 1999, Dave moved to Milwaukee to become the Chef de Cuisine at Sanford.
In 2008, he launched Braise RSA (restaurant supported agriculture), which brings locally sourced foods into restaurants. Braise Restaurant & Culinary School opened in 2011. From this endeavor came 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Midwest.
Since then, Dave has become a longtime resident of the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee.
On October 21, 2017, Dave married Rebecca Rachoner on Washington Island in Door County, Wisconsin, and in early 2018, they celebrated their honeymoon in London. Together they have a chocolate lab named Gabby that loves to accompany them on hikes throughout the Kettle Moraine. When he's not hiking, Dave also loves to cross-country ski, bike, and travel.