Daniel Miller, a first generation American born in Portland, Oregon, has been involved with food his whole life. Miller washed dishes and worked the Blazer games through Central Catholic; waited tables through a double major of International Studies and Politics at Willamette University. After graduation, a year of fun, he thought, before pursuing a “real” job. He started work at the Black Rabbit at Edgefield in 1994, while the fate of the McMenamin’s flagship property was still in the air. Four years later he was managing the Black Rabbit Bar, immersed in cuisine and wine and music.
Miller followed that music. Tending bar in Honduras, managing restaurants in Alaska, waiting tables in the Virgin Islands, he savored the experiences that the service industry offered him. He was managing restaurants for the Beau Rivage, a MGM-Mirage casino in Biloxi, Mississippi when three gangsters attacked him one night in a club. He was hospitalized with traumatic brain injury. Rather than coming home to Portland, the doctors strongly urged he stay in the south to recover, so as not to shock the brain. He continued to excel in the food service world, even opening an independent restaurant for the president of the casino. But his heart called him home.
In 2004, while still healing and settling back in Portland, he began a career in food advocacy, teaching high school classes, performing chef demonstrations, lecturing at universities. Food as a vehicle for healing became his personal therapy, and his professional passion. He cofounded a holistic cancer survivorship nonprofit in 2012 (Taking Care Cancer), and grew the model to collaborate with hospitals and national organizations in order to teach cancer survivors about holistic community-driven care. Healing through food brought him back to teaching about food. And about food service.
Miller gathered a highly qualified, fun group of people passionate about service, and developed a program to introduce restaurant life to disengaged youth.