It was the legendary British celebrity chef Keith Floyd who first triggered Dan’s love for cooking. As a young boy, he’d watch Floyd’s TV series in awe. Sporting a bow tie, knife in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, Floyd’s theatrical cooking style was relaxed yet captivating.
Years later, Dan was compelled to give that same experience to others. Mastering recipes in order to evoke that same sense of ease in the kitchen, he set out to draw others into his passion for good food and simple dishes.
Hosting monthly dinner parties for relative strangers – from seven-course degustations to floor-seated guests indulging in comforting Bedouin finger food - quickly evolved into a full-time gig. The food was forever praised, but it was the atmosphere of effortlessness and joy Dan was so adept at creating that the guests returned for time and again. After many new friends made and countless dishwasher loads later, Dan the Man Cooking was born in 2011.
When Dan’s sister-in-law Ilana (aka Bananas) joined the helm in 2012, they were able to expand their food offering incorporating a passion for local, seasonal and lesser known produce. Now Dan the Man is a full service event catering company remaining true to its principles of simple food done well.
Ilana’s background in public health and belief in purpose-led business has ensured they’ve found their people and have catered and collaborated with the likes of Tesla, Bank Australia, Wildwon, The Youth Food Movement and The Climate Institute. They achieved B Corp certification in November 2017 and set themselves the challenge of being Australia's first zero waste to landfill event caterer by 2018. This year they started offering waste audits and mentorship to help other businesses in the events industry get to zero.
Dan continues to explore his love of cooking, his biggest obsession being low and slow Texas style barbecue. They are now offering his 12 hour smoked brisket to the public.