Q&A with Joseph Decuis chef Marcus Daniel

by | People, Q&A

Marcus Daniel is the executive chef at Joseph Decuis, a fine-dining restaurant in Roanoke, Ind. The restaurant features Wagyu beef raised on the restaurant’s nearby farm along with Mangalitsa pigs, heritage chickens and turkeys, and a wide array of vegetables. Chef Daniel, a Fort Wayne native, graduated from Ivy Tech’s culinary program and worked locally before heading to Los Angeles and New York City. He joined Joseph Decuis in 2016, returning to the area from New York City’s Michelin-starred Breslin Bar & Dining Room and John Dory Oyster Bar, where he refined his culinary skills under the tutelage of James Beard award-winning chef April Bloomfield. Chef Daniel will be cooking for the Culinary Crossroad On the Road dinner at Fort Wayne’s new Union Street Market in the Electric Works development on Feb. 21.

What’s your food philosophy?

I like cooking food that I want to eat. Seasonal as much as possible. Working with the wagyu [at Joseph Decuis] is nice. It’s a beautiful ingredient. I’m able to explore the whole cow, the whole nose to tail.

Did you always want to be a chef?

My mom told me I had to go to college, so I went to Ivy Tech, and I enrolled in the culinary department. Once I got into it, I started to like it. You’re moving, you’re sweating, you’re getting yelled at. It reminded me of some sort of sport.

Do you yell in the kitchen?

We have an open kitchen, so I can’t yell obscenities across the room, but I can speak very sternly in someone’s ear.

With the announcement that Noma will be closing in Copenhagen, we’re hearing a lot about the end of fine dining? Any thoughts?

Noma’s closing, but every three Michelin-starred restaurant in New York is bumping their prices, and it doesn’t seem like its affecting them. Is “fine dining” just the service of it? Or is fine dining the food of it? You can serve beautiful food on picnic tables.

Do you enjoy working with other chefs at collaborative dinners?

In 2019 [pre-pandemic], we were cooking with people that came from, say, Italy, from Louisiana, from Africa and other regions in the world. They would come [to the restaurant] with their recipes, they showed me how to do it, we executed it, and they spoke about it. It was eye opening to see how many foods are out there. And there’s always a street food. There’s always meat on a stick. There’s always those types of foods everywhere. That’s something we all share in common.

What do you cook at home?

During these winter months, it’s more stews, heartier food. The people I cook for at home are my wife and kids, and sometimes the kids don’t want what I want to eat, so I’m not really cooking for myself.

What’s always in your fridge?

Hot sauce for me to put on everything. It’s going on pizza, it’s going on eggs. Sandwiches too.

Recent Blog Posts

Counting down to the World Food Championships

Counting down to the World Food Championships

Have you noticed our countdown clock at the top of our Culinary Crossroads website? If you haven’t visited our site, please check it out. Our “countdown to the throwdown” clock shows that it’s less than 150 days until the World Food Championships begin in Indy! The...

Enjoy ice cream, onion rings, history and more in Shelbyville

Enjoy ice cream, onion rings, history and more in Shelbyville

Shelbyville, known more for pristine farmland than as a food destination, offers delicious surprises while providing a healthy dose of Hoosier history. Situated where the Big Blue and Little Blue rivers converged, the town has the distinction of being the one-time...

Around the world and back home again with Chef Daniel Orr

Around the world and back home again with Chef Daniel Orr

Columbus, Ind., native Daniel Orr left Indiana for culinary school, and his career took him around the world, from Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe to some of New York City’s top fine-dining establishments. In 2008, he came home, embraced his “inner Hoosier,” as...

Congrats to first-ever Hardesty Scholars at Ivy Tech

Congrats to first-ever Hardesty Scholars at Ivy Tech

As the school year wraps up, all of us here at Culinary Crossroads would like to congratulate our first two Hardesty Scholars on a great year! Working with the Hardesty family and Ivy Tech Community College, Culinary Crossroads awarded the first Chef Greg Hardesty...

Greencastle offers regional charm and diverse dining

Greencastle offers regional charm and diverse dining

Greencastle, a quaint town in Putnam County with a population of just under 10,000 and home to DePauw University, is a hidden gem for food enthusiasts. Its dining scene is a delightful blend of regional charm and diverse culinary experiences. While students might opt...