I have been at this for a little while now and I have never fully introduced myself. Due to my occupation, I am skeptical about letting people into my world. I will clarify what that occupation is momentarily. My name is Dan, Daniel, or Danny depending on how well you know me and I will answer to all three. I am 45 years old. I am a lot backcountry and a little chef. I am not a trained chef but I enjoy cooking and sharing my food with those that I love. I have been married to Julie, the most wonderful woman on this planet, for the past 25 years. She should receive an award for putting up with me this long. Can you believe she is supporting me in my crazy dream to create Thebackcountrychef.com? We have three amazing and super talented kids. Danae is our oldest and she will graduate soon and will be leaving for college. My oldest son is Aiden. He is 15 and enjoys everything outdoors. Eli is our 10-year-old who eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball. If you want to know any random historical baseball information Eli is sure to have something to offer. He keeps us on our toes and tries to keep us young while contributing to my gray hair. I passionately love my family with everything I have. I try to live in a way that leaves me “Dad Tired” each and every day.
I have been a police officer for 25 years. I hesitate to tell people my occupation because I don’t know how they are going to react. I am the type of person that enjoys seeing people smile and not one that wants to bring up a bad memory, image, or stereotype. I want people to get to know me before they make a judgment due to my occupation.
Being in law enforcement, I have seen the worst and the best in people. I have witnessed trauma, tragedy, death, and too many other things to mention. Due to the stresses involved with my career, I have always used the outdoors as a place to release my stress. I also use nature to rejuvenate so I can continue to have a positive impact on the people that I serve. When I go out in nature, I can’t help but be aware of God’s goodness through all of my senses. I enjoy the vivid colors of a sunrise or a sunset. I can get lost in the sounds of the wind and the smells of the trees. As I start to focus on the nature around me, I find myself forgetting about the stresses of the world.
I Know how important nature is to my emotional well-being and how it helps me connect with God, who made the heavens and the earth. Knowing how important time in nature is, I do everything I can to involve those that I love in outdoor activities. I want my family and friends to see the benefits that spending the day hanging in a hammock, backpacking, hunting, or fishing can offer them. The best way I know to do that is to take them along. That is why I started this adventure. I want to combine my love for the outdoors and merge it with my enjoyment of cooking for the people that I love.
The motto for The Backcountry Chef is, “get outside and find an amazing place to cook something good.” As you are looking for that amazing place, take the time to listen, smell, and see God’s goodness through His creation.