Daniel Nemec grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. As a young boy, Daniel had an appreciation for the inherent flavors in food, and began to discover the world of cooking and baking. After studying business at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, Daniel enrolled in the Texas Culinary Academy. While at the academy, Daniel was a recipient of numerous awards including a gold medal for the annual statewide Salon Competition. Daniel graduated as a classically trained French Chef from the Texas Culinary Academy in 2000.
Always using the time to enhance his abilities, Chef Nemec participated in a number of noteworthy culinary competitions while working at fine establishments such as Zoot and The Belgian in Austin, Texas. Under the tutelage of Christian Echterbille, a European Master Chef trained by the famed Paul Bocuse, Chef Nemec moved to Girasole as Sous Chef and Pastry Chef. Upon the Master Chef’s return to Belgium, Daniel assumed the position as Executive Chef of Girasole.
Over the years, Chef Nemec has served a number of political officials and celebrities including Lady Bird Johnson, Lynn Cheney, Former Governor of Texas, Mark White, Arnold Palmer, Lance Armstrong, Pat Green, John Travolta and Martie Seidel of the Dixie Chicks. In addition, Chef Nemec has donated time to many national charity organizations such as the March of Dimes, Share Our Strength, and the 2004 benefit for the Memorial Herman Hospital.
Chef Nemec’s list of achievements include the title of Star Chef of Austin 2001, the 2002 Award of Excellence for Wine Spectator Magazine, guest Chef by invitation for the James Beard House in New York City, and gold medal in the State of Texas Salon Competition.
Currently, Daniel Nemec is the Executive Chef for the legendary Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse, Kirby’s Prime Steakhouses, and WoodFire. ” Quality in what you do is always in direct proportion to your commitment to excellence, regardless of your chosen field,” believes Nemec. It is with this kind of conviction and determination that Chef Nemec has been able to see the product of his talent and ability come to fruition with the opening of Girasole in Austin, and the recently opened WoodFire, a chef driven restaurant in Dallas, specializing in hickory wood grilled cuisine. Chef Nemec is currently involved in the collaboration and development of future concepts with his company.