Daniel's skills in the kitchen are no joke and he has been putting them to good use during this pandemic. Read more about this mensch below... a cute dog named after after a local brew even makes an appearance!
Alyssa: Tell us a little bit about you!
Daniel: A long time ago, the great bubby...just kidding! I was born and raised in Houston! I grew up in Missouri city and went to college at The University of Houston. I graduated in 2016 with a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Now, I live in Eado (East Downtown) with my dog, Shiner. During school and after graduation I worked as a chef for a couple of catering companies and as a culinary director for H-E-B. About 2 years ago I started my own catering business and expanded in 2019. In January 2020 I left my full-time job and now I run my catering business full time, on my own!
Alyssa: Wow, that’s fascinating, what goes on in your catering business?
Daniel: My catering business is called Wolfe & Wine Co. The reason for the name is that I am personally there at every event, so you get the Wolfe, and I believe that wine should be at every meal, so there is your wine! I use local ingredients, have close relationships with growers and buyers, and all of our meals are made from scratch. We cater a lot of weddings and corporate events, and are starting to get into the Bar and Bat mitzvah scene. We are getting so large that we will be buying our own kitchen and wine bar very soon!
Alyssa: Since Covid-19 hit our country has it been difficult owning your own business?
Daniel: Majorly. We had all of our events cancel til June, and don’t have an event until July. It’s been very stressful, but we are in the process of trying to add more to our menu. We are identifying new suppliers, new recipes, and expanding what Wolfe & Wine Co. can offer. For example, we are producing “Cookie Shots”, which are shot glasses made out of cookies! It’s delicious, trust me. We are also expanding our corporate catering in order to offer luncheon opportunities like boxed lunches, and more individual portions. Another thing we are rolling out is our meal prep program, like “Hello Fresh” or “Blue Apron”.
Alyssa: I heard that even though times are hard you have started an incredible program to help those in need during this time.
Daniel: We came up with this idea when we started getting feedback from some parents and friends who are teachers that they had children or senior citizens that are on a fixed income and can’t afford food. School districts are not set up to do to-go orders, so I started to think about what we can do. I knew that a lot of people were living paycheck to paycheck, or their incomes were being cut, so I came up with an idea that is universal. Something that doesn’t require cooking or refrigeration in case power goes out. We came up with sack lunches! They are easily distributed and easy to put together. I partnered with my suppliers to make these sack lunches. On our first run we delivered 1,200 meals. Now we have distributed to 2,700 people around Houston. Read more about this project in a KHOU article here!
Alyssa: How can people sign up or help? Daniel: Right now sign ups are on pause, but once my distributors are back in action, we will be working with hospitals to feed their entire Emergency and ICU departments. So far, we’ve already confirmed plans to feed over 3,000 nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and more. Click this link to donate to Daniel's project, "Houston's Hometown Hero's".
Alyssa: If you could cater any event, what would it be?
Daniel: The Country Music Awards! I cooked for Reba McEntire once, and she called me a “Sweet Little Pumpkin”, so I would love to go back and ask her if she really meant it.
Alyssa: Tell us about Shiner the dog!
Daniel: She is a rescue. I have had her for about 6 years, and I got her through a rescue organization out of Dallas. I named her after my favorite beer, her full name is Shiner Bark. I also trained her as a therapy dog, so she helps with anxiety and panic attacks.
Alyssa: If you could create a Passover dining experience, what would you do? Daniel: I would do a smoked brisket and our sous vide carrots with all your typical Passover sides. We would pair each of the 4 courses with a bottle of wine. I would focus on Israeli wines from the Golan to the Negev for each meal pairing. Alyssa: Do you like gefilte fish?
Daniel: I would rather bash my head into a brick wall than eat gefilte fish.
Alyssa: Are you going to open your door to Elijah this year, or are you scared he might bring COVID-19?
Daniel: Neither, I’m not going to open my door to Elijah because then I have to share my wine with him.
Alyssa: When Jewston comes together we... Daniel: Drink Wine!
Email Alyssa (firstname.lastname@example.org) to nominate your friend to be our next Jewston Mensch of the week!