Danielle Van Steen

Fabulous People: Danielle Van Steen

Danielle Van Steen is the newly appointed executive chef of Little Italy’s Ironside Fish & Oyster. The San Diego-based, maritime-themed eatery offers a “unique seafood dining experience that will leave guests feeling like they are about to set sail on a 19th-century ocean liner.” Learn about Danielle Van Steen…

Hometown: Danvers, MA

First job: Goodies 50’s Style Ice Cream Parlor. I was 15. I remember getting a worker’s permit from my high school guidance counselor. I started out making and decorating the ice cream cakes, and scooping ice cream for $6.50 an hour. When the weather cooled off and ice cream wasn’t so popular, I started baking just a few businesses down at Martha’s Bread Basket, where I worked on and off for the next seven years. 

Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: I spend all of my free time with my family. My husband, Wayne, and I have a 2-year-old daughter. She is awesome. Some of our favorite things to do are visit Coronado Beach, and naturally we love trying out new places to eat. 

Your biggest accomplishment and why: This is a hard question. Although I feel pride for achieving many things in my life so far, I also hope that I am able to continue to learn, grow and accomplish new things that will continue to shape me into the person that I will be. 

The biggest obstacle you overcame: At this point in my life, it’s a tie between getting out of Massachusetts and being a young woman who chose a career that, at that time, did not favor women. 

Someone who inspires you and why: Hollie Walton, known “from coast to coast like buttered toast.” He was my cross country coach in college at Johnson & Wales University. Hollie came from very little growing up in Providence, RI. He was a world-class athlete in his prime. More important than that, Hollie has spent his life giving back to the youth of his community, giving them hope and guidance through coaching.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Believe in yourself, set obtainable goals and work towards them. Never give up on what you truly want. 

Favorite quote: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” –Steve Prefontaine

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I hope that someday I can open a small business, a B&B or something of that nature. I want to be a farmer, no cows. Cows are expensive and a pain in the ass; you can’t be both. 

What makes someone fabulous: Just being who you are! Being brave enough to be yourself is all it takes. 

Photo Credit: Shannon Patrick 

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