Chef with Michelin Star experience to lead new Dayton restaurant

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

AC Hotel Dayton has recruited a new executive chef with Michelin Star experience to lead the hotel’s kitchens including The Foundry, a woodfired rooftop concept.

Executive Chef David Belknap, who was born and raised in Columbus, serves as an executive chef at AC Hotel Columbus Dublin running VASO, a Spanish-inspired rooftop lounge and restaurant, according to a press release. Belknap’s new role as area executive chef includes the addition of opening The Foundry and all banquet, catering and private dining events for guests at AC Hotel Dayton.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Chef Belknap to AC Hotel Dayton and our soon to open restaurant, The Foundry,” said Ian Legros, general manager. “He brings with him an impressive culinary background which will translate to an elevated, yet approachable dining experience for both guests and locals to enjoy.”

Belknap was inspired by his mother, who instilled in him an appreciation for different flavors and recipe creation, the release noted. He went on to attend Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in Pittsburgh.

“In 2005, he joined The Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes team and over the next five years honed his craft in culinary hotbeds such as Puerto Rico, Denver and Naples, Florida, before landing in New York City under Chef Thomas Keller and his three-star Michelin-Starred PerSe,” the release noted. “Chef Belknap spent two years there before opening his own restaurant, L&W Oyster Co., on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.”

Other career highlights include being invited to cook at the James Beard House twice and appearing on an episode of “Chopped.”

Belknap ultimately returned to Columbus to raise a family, the release noted.

“I’m excited about testing the limits on what Dayton’s dining scene is willing to accept,” Belknap said. “Coming from a three Michelin-Starred restaurant, I don’t expect locals to embrace bubbles and foams, but, hopefully, people will be willing to try different types of meats or different cuts of meats that they wouldn’t normally try.”

The Foundry, housed on the seventh floor of the hotel at 124 Madison St., has views overlooking Day Air Ballpark. Guests can expect a wide variety of elevated wood oven dishes and seasonal cuisines touched by fire. Selections range from pizzas and burgers to small plates and starters.

The restaurant’s official opening date is unknown. In March, when the hotel first opened, officials said the restaurant was expected to follow in April or May.

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