Meet Chef Dave


Chef Dave is an Executive Chef. Mayo is a foodie apprentice. They have one thing in common: It’s that genuine love for delicious food which brought two people from different paths, even different corners of the world, to the same goal to work together.

Chef Dave will demonstrate that simplified sophistication can be achieved by anybody, through an intuitive and creative approach plus a bit of practice.

Our foodie blog is a project of passion, sharing the experiences, recipes and visions of a 5 star Chef who once was the personal chef to John Travolta and a successful online publisher. But it’s only a start, we like you to join us on this journey, and share your own 5 star kitchen successes which we can share with others…Food Tastes Better When It’s Shared!

Chef Dave ( David Bland) was nominated as one of Central Florida’s Top 20 Chefs Restaurant Forum magazine. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation and the American Personal Chef Association.

chefdave Amongst other food successes, Chef Dave worked as Executive Chef at Portobello Yacht Club, a fine dining regional Italian restaurant which served over 1000 guests nightly.  He enjoyed his time as personal chef to John Travolta and Kelly Preston where he felt like one of the family.  He has cooked in some exotic locations like a G-2 luxury jet, 707 jumbo jet, 80 ft yacht in the British Virgin Isles and on movie locations around the world with Travolta family.

Chef Dave  loves to share and communicate with other professional chefs.  He enjoys growing in his craft and also writing about real life kitchen experiences.

David is known by many for his monthly article called “Anything But Bland” which covered topics like: Mother Sauces, Holiday Cooking, Wine Seminars, Throwing Parties, Organics and The future of Food Supply. He’s passionate about his career and loves sharing his knowledge with others through the teaching of cooking classes from an intimate small group up to 300 people.

He would love to share his passion for food with you; the sophisticated home cook, home cooks who want a little bit more from their everyday cooking. He will teach some tips to wow you and your guests.


Favorite foods:
Bacon!!! Sushi, Tuscan cuisine, Love fresh pasta, truffles, chocolate, Pork belly, caviar, aged cheeses, World Cuisine, Asian cuisine, raw food, Healthy cuisine, Mexican cuisine, Spicy foods, Thai Cuisine, Oysters, Pizza, Southern food, An amazing burger, I love hot dogs especially at a game with beer, nearly anything with an amazing wine, Oh yeah, I love Coffee!…and So much more.


Favourite place:
San Diego, St Augustine, Florida, Yucatan Mexico..Secret Spot, On a boat in the British Virgin Isles, The Grand Canyon, Navajo Land Mexico-My heart is there, Anywhere there is a beach, Italy, Sardinia, Madrid, Paris, Switzerland


Least favorite foods:
Rutabagas, honestly the only think I cannot eat. My Mom made me eat this when I was a kid and it made me gag


Favorite cuisines:
Mexican, Italian, Asian, American, Southern American, Hawaiian, Greek, Love it all!


Favorite thing to cook:
I love braised meats, delicate fresh fish, seafood, pork butt, belly, bacon, Risotto, fresh pasta, gelato, Soups, stocks-the essence of food, sushi (not really cooking!) Raw foods, Molecular Gastronomy.


Favorite chef:

My favorite Chef was my teacher Chef Achatz who cursed way too much, but was the Zen Master Chef, Chef Tony Periquito, My Exec Chef, a true master, Ron Pollack taught me so much! Favorite Celeb Chef, Anthony Bourdaine, Tony Montuana-Spiaggia


Craziest thing I’ve ever eaten:
I guess a tequila worm.

Worst Kitchen Disaster:
I have two that come to mind:

My first cooking experience, I was like 12 and I heated butter in a pan to fry chicken and it started on fire. I moved the pan then realised it was too hot so I Dropped it on the linoleum floor and made a nice big hole.

The other experience occurred at my first job a down home seafood restaurant.  I remember it was a Saturday morning and I was 16 years old, my head cook asked me to cut carrots up for coleslaw, he gave me a meat cleaver for the task!!!! Shortly after I started I realised that I took off most of my left thumb and everything started to get dizzy and the room was spinning. Luckily the Dr was able to sew it back on but I have a nice scar as a reminder.

chefdave-johntravoltaBland. When you think of food, if the word bland is the first thing that comes to mind, it probably wasn’t the most memorable meal. Unless you’re having a meal prepared by me, Chef Dave Bland!

I know what you’re thinking, “How did I, a man whose family name is Bland, become a chef?” Here’s my story: My first job, at age sixteen, was as a prep cook at a local St. Augustine eatery. This is where I cut off the tip of my thumb with a cleaver while prepping coleslaw. During a six year stint at a chain restaurant, I decided (with my future wife’s prodding) to attend culinary school.

Upon graduation from the Southeastern Culinary Institute, we got married and moved to Orlando. I worked my way up into the Executive Chef position at a fine dining Italian restaurant in Downtown Disney called Portobello Yacht Club, where I was employed for 10 years. One thousand covers of Regional Italian cuisine each night! Bellissimo! On top of this I was also voted Top 25 Chefs in Central Florida for 2005 by Restaurant Magazine!

Then a whirlwind eighteen months working as John Travolta’s private chef cooking on two movie locations, catering 747’s and sailboats in the Caribbean and everywhere from LA to FL to ME. I said it was a whirlwind!

chefdavePost-Travolta I came back to earth and was Executive Chef at ‘On Top of the World’ golf community in Ocala, Florida for four years before I made the move to the West Coast and made beautiful SoCal home.

I have been Executive Chef at Peohe’s on beautiful Coronado Island, since 2011. I have enjoyed the Pacific Rim cuisine and one of a kind scenery I get to look at every day. I took 2nd place in the “I Love Poki” contest two years in a row. I’m also a member of San Diego’s Green Chef Society. Peohe’s is excited to also cater many of the Chargers meals during training and football season and I have gotten to know our amazing team. Go Chargers!

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