OUR MERIVALE CHEFS
Dan Hong, Jordan Toft, Danielle Alvarez, Mike Eggert and Vincenzo Biondini have lovingly curated meals you can cook at your place...and take all the glory for. Each of them head up some of our most-loved restaurants and brands.
Starting his career in the kitchen of his family’s Vietnamese restaurant chain, Dan quickly developed a taste for a career in a challenging and exciting kitchen. He honed his culinary skills at an elite list of Sydney restaurants, then after a stint in New York working with culinary great, Wylie Dufresne of WD-50, Dan joined the Merivale team as head chef of Lotus. In 2010 Dan launched Ms. G’s, then El Loco in 2011, and 2012 saw him launch Merivale’s largest restaurant, Mr. Wong. Dan is best known for his bold, boisterous food, infallible work ethic and love of kicks.
Bert’s Bar & Brasserie
Jordan is a chef who is continually contributing to and shaping the Australian culinary landscape. As executive chef of Mimi’s, Una Más and Bert’s Bar & Brasserie, he demonstrates his signature talent for restrained luxury. Jordan’s approach has been shaped by years spent travelling and experience working all over the globe - Australia, Europe and the USA. Simplicity, provenance and attention to detail drive Jordan’s cooking style, while a relaxed elegance is ever-present in his creative approach to food.
Holding a degree in art history, American-born Cuban, Danielle, channels her creativity into her cooking. She honed her cooking skills under the tutelage of Alice Waters – owner of famous Californian restaurant Chez Panisse and grandmother of the farm to table food movement – which is where Danielle’s love of the very best seasonal produce began. From what is available at any given time, she crafts her menus to showcase the integrity of the freshest ingredients. Danielle brings her warm and welcoming nature, knowledge and signature calm to everything she does.
Starting out as an environmental scientist, Mike credits his mum for his love of nature, the environment and teaching him “everything about plants and to respect living things”. He was always into food and cooking, so after finishing uni and working for a bit, he changed careers and became an apprentice chef. He worked with some of the best chefs in Sydney at Oscillate Wildly, Sepia, Billy Kwong, The Duke, and Buzo. But he really gained a loyal following of foodies when he started Pinbone. His first foray into the world of Merivale was with the Dirty Italian Disco pop up. Now he’s executive chef at Totti’s in Bondi and Bar Totti’’s in Sydney’s CBD. Mike’s positivity, creativity, originality and fun is the common thread to his approach to food.
Born to Lebanese parents, Simon’s appreciation for middle eastern flavours developed at an early age (to this day, his mother remains his greatest culinary inspiration). After kicking off his career at Rockpool, Simon opened his own restaurant, Sefa Kitchen, in 2005. Known for creating food that ‘satisfies the soul’, Simon joined Merivale in 2017, working as Head Chef for the Coogee Pavilion Rooftop, but it’s his newest adventure, Jimmy’s Falafel, that really gets him excited. The vegetable-heavy menu features an assortment of pitas, plates and wraps, inspired by Simon’s travels to the Middle East (and includes a falafel recipe that took a solid 6 months to perfect).
Once a muso, teenage Nathan swapped his drumkit for a different kind of noise, spending a decade cooking alongside Gordon Ramsey and working behind the scenes on the infamous Kitchen Nightmares television series. After gaining experience at a swathe of London’s most lauded restaurants - including Ramsay’s Claridges, Boxwood Cafe and Plane Food - Nathan relocated to Australia and joined Merivale’s Felix in 2011. With a passion for modern European cuisine, and a flair for all things French, Nathan’s known for creating the kind of food that everyone can enjoy - honest and simple, with a focus on fresh, quality produce. When not in the kitchen, you’ll find him on the South Coast, enjoying all things outdoors.