OUR MERIVALE TEAM
Dan Hong, Jordan Toft, Danielle Alvarez, Mike Eggert and Nathan Johnson have lovingly curated meals you can cook at your place...and take all the glory for. Alongside group bars manager Sam Egerton and master sommelier Franck Moreau, they head up 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.
Ben Greeno’s talent for restrained simplicity sets the tone at both The Paddington Precinct and Hotel Centennial, where he is executive chef. With an incredible eye for detail and a technical dexterity honed in the world’s best kitchens, Ben’s cooking takes classic comfort food on rousing adventures. After working at Rene Redzepi’s Noma, Ben made his way to Sydney in 2011 to head up Momofuku Seibo where he earned three Good Food Guide hats in his first year.
Franck Moreau’s passion for wine was sparked at a young age. Born in Mâcon, Burgundy he grew up surrounded by the vineyards, watching winemakers and developing his palette. After stints at Gordon Ramsay’s Claridge’s and Savoy Grill, Franck travelled the world, expanding his knowledge of old and new world wines before landing in Sydney. Joining Merivale in 2005, Franck has developed an incredibly vast and talented sommelier team and won countless awards and accolades during his time with us. Most notably, in 2011 he became Australia’s very first Master Sommelier.
Group Bars Manager
Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, Sam started working in hospitality at 16. He moved to Sydney in 2006 on a whim and fell in love with the city, starting at Merivale’s Felix in 2011. Sam opened Charlie Parker’s in 2016 which went on to win 'Cocktail bar of the Year' at the ALIAs and ‘Sustainable Bar of the Year’ at the Australian Bar Awards in 2017. The same year he was named 7th in the Australian Bartender Magazine’s ‘Most Influential List’ and 6th in 2019. Sam doesn’t really have a typical day at work. As Merivale’s Group Bars Manager you might find him developing a new cocktail, meeting about new projects, training staff or working behind the bar in a new venue. But, no matter where his day takes him, he’s a bartender at heart.