Young Chef Judge


Dan was born in Melbourne, Australia and his professional cooking career began there in 1999, where he trained at The Oyster Bar (1999-2000), Langton’s (2000-2002) and Verge (2002-2003). His career has taken him around the globe and into the kitchens of some of the world’s most acclaimed restaurants, including four years in Spain, where he was Head Chef under Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz (2005-2007). On his return to Australia, Dan spent six years leading the kitchen of Dunkeld’s Royal Mail Hotel (2007-2013) before embarking on his own personal project.

Dan’s first solo venture, Brae, opened in December 2013 and is currently ranked number 58 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants long list. Here, Dan leads his own team of chefs and gardeners committed to a sustainable method of farming and cooking. Together, they grow organic fruit and vegetables and use only ethically-grown produce from Brae Farm, the surrounding land and local farmers to offer a unique Australian cuisine built around an immense respect for nature, place and seasonality.

Dan was named The Australian Financial Review’s Top Chef in both 2016 and 2017; Good Food Guide’s Chef of The Year in 2012 and 2016; and Gourmet Traveller’s Chef of the Year in 2016. His debut book, Brae – Recipes and stories from the restaurant, was published by Phaidon 2017. Dan’s collaboration with Koko Black, a unique range of chocolates incorporating Australian ingredients, launched on November 29, 2018.