Chef David Dunlap is presently Executive Chef of the soon-to-open Quirk Hotel, A Destination Hotel, located in Richmond, Va. Slated to open September 2015, David’s hands-on approach at the hotel’s food & beverage outlets will influence the conception and development of a restaurant designed for city residents and travelers alike, as well as a bar and bites program at the city’s first-ever rooftop bar and lounge.
Born in Washington State near the Puget Sound, Chef David Dunlap recalls fond childhood memories of days spent playing and harvesting in his family's orchards: plucking strawberries and blackberries, foraging for huckleberries an fishing in the stream behind his home. Establishing a passion for food in his early upbringing, David took his first cooking role at a local farmer's market in Boulder, Colo. Realizing he had found his calling, he enrolled at the California Culinary Academy to conduct his studies and further his skillset. Upon graduation, he worked under Executive Chef Romuald Jung at El Encanto Hotel in Santa Barbara, California, where he refined his utilization of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as creating and executing complicated and delicious recipes on the fly as he worked with the array of seafood delivered daily by local fishermen. From there, Chef Dunlap accepted a position with the five-star, five-diamond Four Seasons, also in Santa Barbara, where he worked under Executive Chef Martin Frost and contributed to menu development as well as assisting with a myriad of winemaker dinners.
The arrival of their second child (now a father of three) prompted David and his wife to move to Virginia to be closer to family. Dunlap secured a position with the opening crew for Alain Ducasse's Adour restaurant, in Washington, D.C., and trained under Executive Chef Julian Jouhannud and Corporate Chef Sylvin Portay. It was here that David notes the finer points of his culinary approach were developed. With a variety of high-demand skills now under David’s belt, Chef Damon Gordon of Plume Restaurant at The Jefferson Hotel, DC, a Relais & Châteaux property, recruited David as his Sous Chef. This opportunity led to The Inn at Little Washington, another Relais & Châteaux property, taking notice of David’s culinary skills. David was hired as their Sous Chef and soon thereafter promoted to Executive Sous Chef. Two years later, David accepted an offer to become the Executive Chef at The Ashby Inn, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, where he helmed the restaurant and culinary programing for nearly two years, prior to accepting his current position at Quirk Hotel.