Downtown Tampa’s “The Dan” Announces Executive Chef Dernier Buleje

Introducing Notable Executive Chef Dernier Buleje, Mastermind Behind Reimagined Culinary Program at 1920s Inspired Speakeasy


TAMPA, FLA (January 25th, 2024) – Recognized for its ritzy appeal and award-nominated cocktails, The Dan recently announced a new addition to their team — Executive Chef Dernier Buleje. Executive Chef Buleje has already made notable public appearances on popular, local TV segments including ABC Action News Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and FOX 13 Tampa “Dinner DeeAs”. Mentored by the critically acclaimed Chef Robert Fedorko and with apprenticeship under several accredited chefs throughout the Grand Geneva’s eleven kitchens, Buleje has acquired the expertise sought out by The Dan and has plans to reveal a refined and refreshed dining program at the Downtown Tampa spot this spring. 


Chef Buleje’s culinary style can be attributed to his Latin American heritage, with roots in Guatemala, Peru, and Mexico, and his Midwest upbringing. A Chicago-native, Chef Buleje has always been surrounded by food culture. He’s constantly exploring new flavors and refers to the kitchen as his culinary playground. 


“I’m honored to have the opportunity to join incredible individuals at The Dan [and Hotel Flor Tampa Downtown] focused and driven to deliver an exceptional dining experience to the Tampa Bay Area,” says Executive Chef Dernier Buleje



Q: What is your “cooking philosophy”?

A: Food should be bold, memorable, and a complete dining experience. My personal flair to my cooking style is influenced by the flavors of my culture. 


Q: What do you love most about the culinary industry?

A: The creative freedom of being in the kitchen and bringing people together through the intimacy of cuisine. 


Q: What can you not live without?

A: Cilantro, but garlic is definitely a close second!


Q: What are (3) kitchen tools in your arsenal at all times?

A: A utility knife, sturdy whisk, and cast iron skillet. 


Professional Headshot of Executive Chef Buleje

Interview Clip with Executive Chef Buleje


THE DAN: Settled in Downtown Tampa at Hotel Flor Tampa Downtown, The Dan is a modern fusion of Gulf Coast cuisine and old school speakeasies. The Dan serves dinner seven days a week, weekday lunch, and weekend brunch coming soon. The restaurant is located 905 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602 – entrance on Cass St. 

Editors: For details, or to schedule an interview, contact Lisa Williams  or 727.490.9835.


Lisa Williams

Author Lisa Williams


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