About Dan & Steve
The Hearty Boys was born in our eight-by-eight-foot Chicago kitchen. You could stand in the middle and touch the stove, the fridge, and the collapsible countertop that we had rigged to the wall behind the back door. Every time the business line rang, we'd run to the bedroom and pick it up, trying to sound professional and not out of breath.
You see, neither of us went to culinary school or studied the hospitality industry in college. We started out in New York as actors trying to pay our bills, which meant, quite simply, rolling up our sleeves and working in all aspects of the food business. We learned how to set up outdoor bars and buffets at the U.S. Open; at the French Embassy, we trained how to set an exquisite formal table; and when we worked luncheons at the United Nations, we became versed in treating guests royally . . . literally.
We each soaked up all sorts of knowledge along the way and these experiences earned us the title of "accidental experts."
We had a vision when we moved to Chicago; we wanted to take all the knowledge we had accumulated and bring an East Coast sensibility to the Windy City. And Chicagoans were ready to listen. They started to look to us for hip, urban parties, and reporters called for tips on their upcoming entertainment articles.
Our success quickly enabled us to move out of the apartment kitchen and open a gourmet shop in the "Boystown" neighborhood on Chicago's north side. We served an ever-changing array of foods—all of which we created on the spot each morning. The Hearty Boys continued to grow happily and steadily…and then we hit the summer of 2005. True to form we squeezed everything into one eight week period that summer. We sent a tape into Food Network and beat out 10,000 entrants to become The Next Food Network Star; we launched our own show, Party Line with The Hearty Boys and opened our first restaurant, HB. Then we topped it off with the birth of our son, Nate.
In October of 2007, The Hearty Boys Cookbook "Talk with Your Mouth Full" will further the opportunity to use our "accidental expertise." In it, we share our irreverent views of food and entertaining along with recipes, anecdotes from our journey and, of course, how-to tips we've culled from our time in the trenches.
We're often asked what the secret to The Hearty Boys success is. It's one word and it's also our "business plan"…Accessibility. Now "accessibility" is probably not a well rounded and complete business plan but I think we already came clean about the culinary institute history. We want our food to be unexpected, intriguing and accessible. We want the staff to be knowledgeable, attentive and accessible. We want the whole catering shebang (which can seem daunting and verge on frightening) to be an accessible experience.
It works for us…now lets see how we can work for you.