Photo of Executive Chef Dani Volpi

Chef Dani Volpi’s culinary career began in his family’s restaurant in Aalborg, Denmark. He learned the importance of using fresh ingredients while applying ancient techniques from Northern Europe learned from his Danish mother and Italian father. Dani’s hunger for knowledge pushed him to seek out top-rated professional kitchens around the world, from NOMA in Copenhagen, Denmark to La Francescana in Modena, Italy and, more recently, San Francisco's Delfina.

On his influences:
“The two chefs that influenced me most in my career are Rene Redzepi (NOMA) and Massimo Bottura (La Francescana). Through their different styles, they each helped me discover and develop my culinary voice. Chef Massimo’s constant curiosity and childlike enthusiasm for food resonated with me in a particularly powerful way.”

Dani has a close affiliation with the Academy’s mission to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth. With the Academy welcoming 1.2 million visitors a year, Dani is able to share his passion and culinary ideas with both Bay Area locals and visitors from around the world.

On sustainability:
“I have been a member of the Academy for five years. I feel fortunate to live in a community like the Bay Area where sustainability and healthy eating are a part of our identity. I’m passionate about communicating this through my craft and how the decisions we make with food contribute to a healthier life, and a healthier planet. From a chef’s perspective, local, fresh, and sustainable food simply tastes better.”


Growing up with both Italian and Danish influences, pasta and stews were always a big part of Dani’s childhood. Now as a father, Dani makes pastas and stews regularly for his children.

On his family:
“One’s love of food often comes from these early childhood memories of what your parents made for you and I’m glad I get to be a part of that for my children. Stews are a wonderful way to minimize food waste, utilize fresh, seasonal ingredients and stay warm during chilly San Francisco nights!”

Please join us in The Terrace and Academy Café and meet Dani and his amazing team.




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