February 20-24, 2019 Miami Beach
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Plonowski David e1536264825386 400x400 - Plonowski, David

David Plonowski

CHEF BIO – David Plonowski
Executive Chef – “The Forge” 2018

Born in 1978 Los Angeles, Chef David Plonowski is an only child and was raised in the kitchen cooking alongside his Russian mother and Polish grandmother. Planting fruit trees in their back yard with his father, led him to picking Granny Smiths and making his first Apple Pies when he was 12 years old after finding an “Everything Apple Cookbook” in his mother’s cabinet; scratch pie crust included. His father was an Eagle Scout and family summer vacations were always spent camping all... READ MORE

CHEF BIO – David Plonowski
Executive Chef – “The Forge” 2018

Born in 1978 Los Angeles, Chef David Plonowski is an only child and was raised in the kitchen cooking alongside his Russian mother and Polish grandmother. Planting fruit trees in their back yard with his father, led him to picking Granny Smiths and making his first Apple Pies when he was 12 years old after finding an “Everything Apple Cookbook” in his mother’s cabinet; scratch pie crust included. His father was an Eagle Scout and family summer vacations were always spent camping all over the Midwest for up to 6 weeks as a time. “My dad would pull in old trees that had fallen in the forest. We would saw them into pieces and he would split the logs with an ax. When I look back at all the memories of all the places we went and forests I explored, the memories I recall as the most vivid were all meals that were cooked over an open fire; with the wood we chopped with our bare hands. The Rainbow Trout we caught in the stream….the potatoes we wrapped in foil roasted in the red coals….the French toast and bacon that woke me up in the morning being cooked right over the remaining early morning embers from the night before. Everything we did when we were camping revolved around the food!” Recalling the first time he cooked dinner for a girl, he was almost 15 years old. “I pulled a folding table and chairs up a ladder onto the roof of our house. I lit a candle and made steak, broccoli and fries with a 2 Liter bottle of Coke in an ice bucket. Let’s just say that at a very early age, I learned the true power of food…”
In 2001, after a 4 month study abroad program in Salamanca, Spain. The entirety of his free time was spent cooking and throwing dinners parties for the rest of the students in the program who simply missed the food from home while they were away. After the program ended, David decided to stay for the summer. After the Summer, his money ran out. A Peruvian roommate at the time, had a serving job in a local restaurant and explained that they needed help in the kitchen. He suggested, since I was cooking all the time anyway, why not apply? I recall very clearly that moment….”It had never occurred to me, for a even a single second, that somebody would actually pay me to do something that I absolutely loved to do!”
After having to do a 5 dish tasting for the position of Kitchen Helper, he got his first job in a Spanish kitchen called Cafe Erasmus, washing lettuce and chopping tomatoes. After falling in love with the food and culture, it was clear that this was a natural fit. He enrolled in a culinary program at the University of Salamanca and continued to work in the kitchen for nearly 4 years up to the position of Sous Chef while mastering the food, as well as the Castallian language. During that time, Chef Plonowski traveled to 9 countries in Europe & has since been to 8 others, sampling the food of the world on a quest to expand his pallet.
When he returned to Los Angeles he took his next job at the restaurant, Bar Celona in Pasadena as the Tapas Chef. After a year, he earned his first job as Executive Chef where he continued to work for several more years. Wanting to get back to his roots, he went back to cook for 8 more months in Spain. Upon returning in May of 2010, he was recruited to come to Santa Monica and work as the Executive Chef for the Godfather of West Coast Farm to Table, Michelin Star Chef Joe Miller’s Spanish Restaurant, Bar Pintxo. During that experience, he was consumed by the world of seasonal vegetable inspired cooking and was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York as well as was awarded Best Spanish Restaurant in Los Angeles.
Then moving on to a Mediterranean concept at Cleo in West Hollywood, CA where he was the Executive Chef Trainer leading SBE’s push to expanded the brand. Chef David trained other chefs to open up Cleo in New York, Downtown LA, the Bahamas and Dubai. From there it was more than a year at BOA Steakhouse in Hollywood as their Executive Chef before he got an offer he couldn’t refuse by Christopher Lee and Shareef Malnik to recreate the menu at the legendary 50 year old, iconic restaurant, “The Forge,” in Miami Beach.
Today, Chef Plonowski’s food philosophy is….simple presentation with explosions of seasonal flavors, texture and aroma, backed by consistent execution. Applying this to “The Forge” has lead him to recreate an elevated, globally influenced menu inside an old world steakhouse. “As a Chef, we must think like a scientist, organize like an accountant, plate like an artist and cook like a grandma.”

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