Chef Danio Somoza showcases a classic, seasonal menu infused with style at 99 Sea Level
Growing up near San Salvador, El Salvador, Danio Somoza never imagined that as an adult, he would become an executive chef, but that is precisely where his path has led. His is a story of diligence and, ultimately, of a chef who took the formative food experiences of his childhood and translated them into the scenery of his kitchen.
As a youth, Somoza explored a long-held passion for race cars. His background was in mechanics, but he eventually wanted to join the majority of his family on the sandy shores of Delaware. Once here, he worked his way up the restaurant ladder and quickly became a chef at Bethany Blues’ Bethany Beach
Somoza started on dayshift and continued to pick up tricks, even learning from Steve “Monty” Montgomery, co-owner of the restaurant, how to make their signature crab cakes. Soon thereafter he was carving his own culinary path. All along, Somoza’s culinary philosophy was informed by his experience of growing up in a country that placed an emphasis on food as a means of expression.
“Nothing in El Salvador comes in a can; we are used to home-cooked meals since we were children,” he said. In addition to the fresh-food philosophy that has stuck with him, there is an emphasis on enjoyment of life. These two converge naturally as he mans the helm of his kitchen at 99 Sea Level in Bethany Beach.
Today, Somoza, 33, sits in his pressed, white chef’s jacket, practically on the edge of his seat; he’s full of energy and eager, for at 99 Sea Level he’s been able to bring a more classical, seasonal menu with his own signature style.
Just recently, he unveiled a personal catering service through 99 Sea Level that offers intimate, in-home catering with three- to four-course meals. And this spring, he’ll be opening a new restaurant in historic Lewes, Harvest Tide Steakhouse, where he can showcase his diverse knowledge of dry-aged steaks of several varieties.
Danio has also been honored by Meals On Wheels for two consecutive years as a Top Chef and for his use of ingredients.
Chef Danio Somoza
99 Sea Level
99SeaLevel.com | 302-539-0299
99 Hollywood Street, Bethany Beach
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