Celebrity News

Chef Dan Jacobs Illness, Wiki, Age, Wife, Top Chef

Dan Jacobs Biography – Dan Jacobs Wiki

Dan Jacobs is the Head Chef and co-owner of acclaimed Milwaukee restaurants EsterEv, a globally inspired tasting menu concept, and Dandan, a modern Chinese-American concept with Midwest sensibility. The Chicago native and his business partner, Dan Van Rite, are 6x James Beard Best Chef Midwest Semi-Finalists.

Born and raised in Chicago, chef Dan Jacobs is a board member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), and was instrumental in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund’s $28.6B raise in 2021. He was one of four to speak to President Joe Biden on behalf of the independent restauranteurs.

Jacobs, a native of Chicago, moved to Milwaukee in 2011 with his wife, Kate, after looking for a change of scenery. He worked in kitchens at Roots, Wolf Peach and Odd Duck before opening Chinese-American restaurant DanDan with chef and co-owner Dan Van Rite in 2016. That year, the duo also opened their fine dining tasting-menu restaurant EsterEv, located inside DanDan.

The same year Dan opened his restaurants, he was diagnosed with Kennedy’s Disease, a genetic neuromuscular ailment commonly mistaken for ALS. With a disease that often makes simple tasks like walking upstairs or chopping an onion feel like a massive undertaking, he’s proud to run two standout restaurants and raise money for Kennedy’s Disease awareness.

Jacobs and Van Rite recently earned their sixth James Beard semifinalist nomination for their work at EsterEv.

Dan Jacobs Age

Chef Dan Jacobs was born on January 30, 1978, in Chicago, IL.

Dan Jacobs Wife

Dan Jacobs is married to his wife, Kate Riley, a ceramic artist. She is the founder of The Plate Collective, maker of hand-crafted pottery and designs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dan Jacobs Illness

In 2016, Chef Dan Jacobs was diagnosed with Kennedy’s disease, a genetic neuromuscular ailment that’s often mistaken for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In February 2016, Jacobs underwent more than six hours of tests at the University of Chicago, where his brother’s wife is a neurologist. That was followed by more aggressive testing. It was thought at first he might have ALS, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. Then came the diagnosis of Kennedy’s.

However, because the disease is inherited, the brother whose wife is a neurologist also was tested. He, too, has the disease. Jacobs does not have children and does not want to pass on the disease.

People who have the rare inherited disease suffer muscle atrophy. No cure or treatment exists for the disease.

Dan Jacobs Top Chef

Milwaukee chef Dan Jacobs will be competing on ‘Top Chef’ Season 21 for the title of Top Chef, a cash prize of $250,000, and a feature in Food & Wine and an appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. The Emmy-winning cooking competition show is hosted by Season 10 winner Kristen Kish.

He announced the news on Instagram, writing: “I had the luck to finally realize a dream of mine and compete on @bravotopchef.”

Jacobs competed while battling the effects of Kennedy’s Disease, a neuromuscular condition he was diagnosed with in 2016 that causes muscle atrophy and slowly deteriorates the ability to swallow, speak, walk and use hands for everyday tasks.

Jacobs added: “Being on ‘Top Chef’ has always been a dream of mine. When they announced that Season 21 was taking place in Wisconsin it felt like fate. What an honor to represent our region.

“A big reason I wanted to compete on ‘Top Chef’ was to inspire people with disabilities. As many people know, I have Kennedy’s Disease, a rare and progressive neuromuscular disorder.

“I hope this platform allows me to inspire people who are differently-abled to pursue their passions, especially in the culinary world where physical constraints can be a big barrier.”


Dan Jacobs’ Instagram handle is djbistro.