Atlanta is a city known for its entertaining. Guests delight in each other’s company inside beautiful homes, noshing on fine food served as a side to captivating conversation. As a frequent host, I love the ritual of planning a menu. Each detail is studied, each decision purveyed- locally. After all, southerners don’t stray far from home! It’s a labor of love. I enjoy every minute. Or, I enjoy almost every minute of the planning process. The truth is, appetizers have always stumped me. I like my first course to be hearty but not filling, rich yet leaving my guests lingering for the next course. It can’t be time-consuming to prepare. After all, I’ve got a main course to slave over–and I insist the appetizer compliments my first wine pairing (a toasty chardonnay or a crisp rose). I’ve done a cheese board so many times that I find myself yawing. So what’s a gal to do? Indeed, we have a dilemma.
Enter Dancin’ Salmon, a locally made, generous filet of hot smoked salmon, prepared kosher. I catch word of Dan Siegler, creator, through our editor who had brunch with girlfriends in Virginia Highland. The hostess dishes up the salmon just the way Sue and I like it: paired with fresh onion, capers, smidgen of cream cheese alongside a lemon wedge. It’s a captivating course, so Sue cornered the hostess her in the kitchen to vet the source. It’s less than 24 hours later that Dan and I are talking.
Siegler, a Sandy Springs resident and Birmingham native, started Dancin’ Salmon in late 2015 after his 22 year IT career ended. Inspired by his family’s entrepreneurial spirit (they once owned Penny Palmer, a ready-to-wear business, his brother is a founder in the clothing line J.McLaughlin and his grandfather was a kosher butcher), Dan decided to pursue a lifelong passion: smoking salmon.
“At the end of the day, I’m a face guy. I like to be with people. My wife and I talked night after night about my next career move, and it made sense to do something I love, which was the inspiration for founding the company.” As such, the company is aptly named…Dan (his name) paired with “Cin” from Cindy, his wife and other lifelong passion and you get “Dancin.” The combination is sublime! There’s no shortage of love that is smoked into each generous serving. Dan brings me a 2.5 lb. North Atlantic Salmon filet, pink and juicy, brimming with briny smoked flavor. The whole family digs in–topping moist flaky meat on crackers, while my 8-year old son consumes it straight, by the forkful. At $35.00 per filet (certified kosher), I’m marveling at the value. Our family of five, plus four guests dines happily, with plenty to whet each individual’s appetite. Dan confirms what we’ve just experienced, the fish is top quality, which is no surprise given Buckhead Beef is his supplier. Each salmon filet is certified kosher and sold through Griller’s Pride, a company founded by Dan’s friend Peter, who has been a great supporter of Dan’s new venture.
Apparently, my family is not the only fans of Dancin’ Salmon. In less than a few months of operation, news has spread throughout the city regarding Dan’s quality salmon, with many of Dan’s customers hailing from Buckhead and Brookhaven. Gail Spielman, a fellow Buckhead resident, has served Dancin’ Salmon for two gatherings at her home and concurs, “The salmon is always a hit. You can eat it hot or cold. It has such amazing flavor! Everyone who tries it loves it. You can’t go wrong! Dancin’ Salmon makes me look good as a host!” I’m not surprised by her enthusiasm as Dan and I chat for a while over the many uses for his salmon. We share ideas. I can see his smoky morsels also topping a fresh arugula salad with pine nuts and red onion, graced with a champagne vinaigrette. The possibilities are endless, but one fact remains–the salmon is divine. I mention this to Dan and he smiles, “I’m glad you love the salmon. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for me. Hopefully everyone will enjoy it so much, they will come back for more!”
I don’t hope though, I know that Dan has nothing to worry about. In one forkful, you’ll be caught by surprise–hook, line and sinker! For more information visit: GrillersPride.com or email Dan@DancinSalmon.com