Area Executive Chef
David Belknap is the Area Executive Chef overseeing The Foundry and all banquet, catering and private dining events for guests at AC Hotel Dayton in addition to running the Spanish-inspired rooftop lounge and restaurant VASO at AC Hotel Columbus Dublin.
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Chef Belknap remembers cooking at a young age with his mother who instilled in him an appreciation for different flavors and recipe creation. Feeling at home in the kitchen, Chef Belknap was hired to wash dishes at a country club, where he further fell in love with the art of cooking. Over the next few years, he worked for Ohio chefs like Terry Hargis, Mike Tibbets and Travis Kawasaki, and at 19 years old took the position of Sous Chef at K2U restaurant in Columbus’ Short North neighborhood. Chef Belknap went on to attend Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in Pittsburgh and was the valedictorian of his graduating class.
In 2005, he joined The Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes team and over the next five years honed his craft in culinary hotbeds such as Puerto Rico; Denver; and Naples, Florida, before landing in New York City under Chef Thomas Keller and his three star Michelin-starred PerSe. Chef Belknap spent two years there before opening his own restaurant, L&W Oyster Co., on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Four years later, he moved
to Mexico before returning to his hometown to raise a family. Other career highlights for Chef Belknap include being invited to cook at the James Beard House twice and also appearing on an episode of Chopped.
At The Foundry, Chef Bleknap’s main focus is to create a space that is unique to Dayton and offer dishes that will excite and intrigue guests. He aims to test the limits of Dayton’s dining scene by expanding palettes and introducing new favorite flavors.