Daniel Sheridan is the head chef and owner of Stitch House Brewery, Locale BBQ Post, and new venture The Post in Trolley Square, as well as this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE! Read his story below:
“I was adopted from Colombia when I was little and then grew up in the Forty Acres neighborhood of Wilmington. I went to all the area schools around the neighborhood: Highlands, and AI Middle, then Mckean for high school. Widener and UD (I attended) for college. I graduated and got my real estate license, used that for a bit, and kept cooking to pay bills. I decided to get serious about it and enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia and moved over there with one of my best friends and we both went to school and cooked over there for about 2 years.
I bounced around a bunch and lived across the globe but when it all boiled down to it I still missed home and family. When I came back from Australia I wanted to stay around here or move to D.C. to cook but Hotel duPont hired me and that was at the time the place to work and learn as a chef in Wilmington so I took the job, met some incredible chefs, learned from them, and eventually started planning things in the area. Before I knew it, Wilmington was home and I realized I’m happy around here in the city.
Wilmington has a very tight knit culinary scene; everyone knows everyone, it’s Wilmington. Working at Hotel duPont allowed me to learn from some great chefs like Bill Hoffman of House of William and Merry and Pat D’amico. Having worked with guys like that gave me a chance to gain more skills and venture out to try and run kitchens as a sous chef or chef, and having Hotel DuPont on my resume went a long way. I used that to get jobs with the Ashby Hospitality Group, Dan Butler of Toscana, then Bryan Sikora of La Fia and Crow Bar, so I got to see how successful chef-run restaurants worked. Wilmington being so small helped me gain a reputation good enough to work with all of these talented people and really hone my skills and want to open places of my own. That close community helped me navigate who I wanted to learn from and work around a lot easier than maybe a larger city.
Both of my places have been active in the community and have done fundraising for some great area institutions such as Nemours Children’s Hospital, and we promote and try to help out our buddy Motorcycle Santa as well with his great fundraising every year for the Ronald McDonald House.
I am hopeful for the city just because it’s still strong as a community after a very tragic past year with riots, Covid, all of that. People are still pressing forward and not giving up, especially Downtown where the ghost town of the business district crushed a lot of us, and we are still very far from the booming Downtown that we were operating in before Covid. Seeing how determined we are all down there makes me hopeful because we all are going through it together and we all are staying positive and we all seem to be hanging on. I can’t wait to see it trend towards where the city was moving before Covid, as it was on a very good trajectory.
Have pride in the city, I’ve lived in a bunch of places and Wilmington really is a great place to live and work. There’s so much to do around here if you just explore a bit and not just restaurants; the outdoor attractions the city has are pretty amazing as well. Water everywhere, bike trails, hiking trails, all of that, explore the city and all it has to offer. I literally have so many memories of being here I can’t pick a few out, it’s been a wild ride. Catch me out having a drink sometime or at the restaurant and I have stories for days!
I suppose the proudest moments professionally that I have in the city are just opening and maintaining Locale BBQ Post and Stitch House Brewery. I’m really proud of the fact that we have survived thus far through Covid and were able to keep an incredible staff with us throughout it. We also have The Post opening in Trolley Square so to be able to be in that position after such a horrible past year makes me very proud not just for me but for my whole team!
Again, I really can’t pin a short list of memories I’ve had in this city. I’ve always been surrounded by great people for a long time, professionally and personally, so memories are made basically every day.”