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EXPLORE

Chef Daniel Bruce - a Culinary Legend

Chef Bruce at Meritage The Restaurant

With a passion for food, wine and the art of pairing the two, Chef Daniel Bruce transformed the culinary landscape for wine and food enthusiasts when he opened Meritage in October 2002. 

Drawing inspiration from his experience as chef and Founder of the Boston Wine Festival, Chef Bruce took his love for creating dishes to match specific wine characteristics and turned it into Meritage – a haven for food and wine lovers to enjoy year-round.

The Boston Harbor Hotel's Distinguished Chef, Daniel Bruce...

More than twenty-four years ago, when Chef Daniel Bruce was one of the country’s most promising young culinary talents, he was lured into the kitchens of Boston’s landmark waterfront hotel, the Five Star Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf. Almost immediately upon taking the reins, his passion for pairing the flavors in food and wine launched the hotel’s most successful ongoing event, the Boston Wine Festival.  Twenty-four seasons later, the Festival has evolved into a world renowned series featuring winemakers from some of the world’s best wineries. Through two decades of developing the Festival, Daniel has created more than four thousand original dishes, each one designed to perfectly complement the special wine with which it was served.

Daniel has earned the Boston Harbor Hotel a reputation for culinary excellence.  Meritage, one of Boston’s few Forbes Four Star restaurants, is the manifestation of Daniel’s passion for food and wine pairing.  Meritage is a bold restaurant with an innovative menu designed to marry culinary flavors to wine flavors. On the first floor of the hotel, the waterfront Rowes Wharf Sea Grille celebrates the sea through an airy and nautically-influenced design, and a menu which reflects the best of the local catch—the freshest seafood prepared in a simple yet artful way.

Born and raised in northern New England, Daniel Bruce graduated with honors from Johnson & WalesUniversity in Rhode Island, and then traveled to Italy and France for more traditional training. Upon his return to the United States, he began working in New York City at 21, becoming in quick time the youngest executive chef in the history of that legendary restaurant.  Daniel’s dream, however, was to return home to New England and find a place where he could fully develop the many dimensions of his talent and culinary interests.  Now in his third decade at the Boston Harbor Hotel, Daniel has never allowed his time at the hotel to become routine, always finding creative ways to broaden the culinary experience of his restaurants’ patrons and guests of the hotel. 

Internationally-renowned, Daniel Bruce has been awarded the title of Vice Consellier Culiniaire, Bailliage de Boston, and he has been honored twice as one of the "Best Hotel Chefs in America" at the James Beard House. In 2009 Daniel was the featured chef at the Celebrity Chef and Winemaker Auction Dinner at the Nantucket Wine Festival, as tribute to two decades of dedication to wine and food education. Additionally, Daniel is an honorary member of Chevalier du Tastevin and has been recognized by Boston magazine as the city's Best Hotel Chef. Daniel has made numerous live television appearances on national programs such as NBC's Today and Live with Regis and Kelly. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Johnson & Wales University in 1996 and in 2013 chef of the Year by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.

Chef Bruce Fishing

Born in New Hampshire and raised in the mountains of rural Maine, Chef Bruce grew up exploring the forests, fields and waters of New England.  As a kid, he spent his free time fishing, hunting and foraging for edible wild plants—fiddleheads, wild ramps, elderberries, pussy willow, cattails, high bush cranberries – you name it. 

What he once thought of as the main source of food for his family, the lakes and forests have since become an inspiration for Chef Bruce in (and out of) the kitchen.

Chef Bruce’s approach to food is based on his New England sensibility which respects the ingredients of each dish by enhancing, but never overwhelming their true flavors.

Chef Bruce's Gallery

Chef Daniel Bruce Cookbook

Simply New England 

Seasonal Recipes that Celebrate Land and Sea

Designed for the home cook, this book celebrates New England with easy to prepare dishes that highlight local ingredients and are ideal to enjoy with family and friends.  

“This book is a collection of some of my favorite dishes inspired by my New England roots, and I hope that some of my recipes become part of your own traditions."

Simply New England: Seasonal Recipes that Celebrate Land and Sea can be purchased at the Boston Harbor Hotel's Gift Shop, or online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble