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Dan Rebelo: Union’s new Chef de Cuisine

February 3, 2016

As Chef Kalman launches his newest venue with Marie Petulla, Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market at Grand Central Market, someone has to take the helm in Pasadena to keep the porchetta coming.
Dan Rebelo is the man Chef Kalman trusts to take over the kitchen at Union while he’s working downtown. We sat down and chatted with Dan to learn something about the man who’s been chosen to fill these very large shoes.
When did you start working for Union?
I started working at Union in February of 2015 as a line cook. I saw a post on Instagram saying Chef Kalman was looking for people and I just applied.
Before I came to California and started cooking here, (Union) I lived on the East coast where I worked in a couple of restaurants that focused on Spanish cuisine. My parents are both Portuguese and so Portuguese and Spanish cuisines are my real specialties. And before that I graduated from culinary school in 2004.
How does it feel to be in charge at Union?
Union is a train that just keeps going. All I have to do is keep it on the rails.
Will you have a hand in the menu?
Just a little at first. Everything goes through Chef Kalman. I recently added a crostone to the menu, with cannellini bean puree, Ventura sardines, pickled shallot and wood sorrel. And I’m looking forward to testing out some lamb, but that’s a little ways off still.
What are you excited about in the near future?
I’m really looking forward to spring at the market. It’s a great time for produce. And I’m collaborating with Chef Kalman on a special Valentine’s Dinner menu which we will be releasing details on soon.
How is it cooking with fresh produce from the Pasadena garden boxes?

Great. Right now we’re using fresh harvested cauliflower, broccoli, their leaves and lots of fava bean leaves. We’re also meeting with Geri of The Cooks Garden by HGEL to plan out what to plant for the new upcoming season.