Fine Dining Restaurant Chef and Social Media Sensation
If you have yet to follow Daniel Lambert on TikTok then you are in for a treat with his fun food hacks and outrageous recipes. With over 3 million likes on his TikTok food videos, Daniel is well known in many households across the island of Ireland and indeed further afield.
Daniel’s educational journey took a new direction when he realised his love for cooking. Originally studying on a software engineering programme, Daniel spent his evenings cooking whilst his college housemates went out for takeaways. The love for cooking and experimenting with food saw Daniel switch direction and enrol on the Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts at ATU Donegal.
“My passion for cooking started at a young age. My grandfather was a head chef in the Belgian army, so it was in my family. I started cooking when I was eight and I got addicted to it and I loved it, I found that I could express myself through cooking”, says Daniel.
“I chose ATU Donegal because after doing some research, it had the best reputation and many celebrity chefs had studied at the Tourism college on the Killybegs campus. During my time at ATU Donegal, I got to do work placement in some renowned restaurants including Nevin Maguire’s, MacNean House & Restaurant. I loved that experience”.
“I am currently employed by Harveys Point Hotel in Donegal. ATU Donegal has great links to the industry. Working in Harvey’s Point Hotel alongside my study allowed me to put into practice what I was learning in class. The college also boasted an onsite restaurant and bar that was open to the public. This was where I met the employer from Harvey’s Point. Fine dining is my area and I won three gold medals for Taste of Donegal. I was also an International Dairy Chef finalist for 2020, which was organised by the French Embassy”.
With the pandemic sweeping the world and restaurants temporarily closing Daniel began to focus on showing his talents across social media platforms. He began by posting fine dining pictures on Instagram and was later introduced to TikTok.
“I started doing really simple food hacks on TikTok and they just went viral. One of the first videos that I published was Doritos cheese bites. After posting three videos I was contacted by FM104 and offered a cooking series. I started taking it more seriously from this point and planned out my videos every week. I studied Food Marketing as part of the course at ATU Donegal and that really boosted my skills in this area, and I was able to develop a game plan”.
It was crazy! Supermarket chains were contacting me for sponsorship options and brands were seeking me out for collaborative work. I even appeared on Good Morning America on St. Patricks Day, cooking some classic Irish dishes. I now work with an agency and I have secured brand deals with great companies that are relevant and compliment my work”.
With Daniel’s love for fine dining taking a slightly different path, he now has a rich understanding of both the restaurant fine dining experience and a successful, ambitious online business. This is something that Daniel hopes to develop further in the future.
“It’s so ironic how it changed my life and my career. I am now back working part-time at Harvey’s Point and continue with my love for food creation and food marketing. I am writing a book that is due to be published by the end of this year and that’s very exciting too. The culinary world has changed and there is a lot more opportunities nowadays. It’s all happening”, laughs Daniel.