A degree in commerce, majoring in finance and management landed Dan a position in the accounts team at the Pacific Restaurant group whose portfolio of restaurants includes Kinglsey’s Steak and Crab House Woolloomooloo and Chophouse in Sydney. At 23, with itchy feet and a calling to ‘develop his palate’, Dan spent 12 months abroad travelling across Europe and Canada before returning home to Chophouse, but this time on the floor rather than behind the scenes. Not being able to stay put for long, Dan set his sights on South America travelling through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Columbia and living in Lima for 4 months teaching English. With an established interest in food, Dan used these travels to explore the food and wine of the places he visited and developed his knowledge of different cultures and ways of cooking. Some highlights include cooking ceviche in Peru and hunting lamb in gaucho country Patagonia. Upon his return to Australia Dan was offered a position managing Kingsley’s Steak and Crab House in Canberra. Knowing that food is where his passion lay, he jumped on this opportunity and found his niche, combining his management skills with a love of good food and wine. Now Dan is realising his dream of owning and managing his own restaurant and working closely with Lauren and the team to deliver a quality dining experience at The Blue Swimmer.
The food in the kitchen is being driven by our young, hungry Head Chef, Lauren Brown. Growing up Lauren always loved cooking, gardening and being in the kitchen. She began working in kitchens during high school as a part time job and has since never looked back. Lauren graduated with a diploma in Culinary Management from George Brown College, Canada and completed a 1 year post -graduate program, specializing in Italian cookery. This program took her to Italy for 3 ½ months, touring the Italian country side and cities eating cheese, visiting caves, vinegar cantinas, butchers and drinking wine at many small family run vineyards and completing her study at the Italian Culinary Institute in Alma. Lauren has since honed her skills and learnt from the best within Italy and Canada at restaurants such as Delle Antiche Contrade, Tutti Matti, Bar Buca, Osteria Le Logge and Enoteca Sociale really enhancing her passion for Italian food, culture and farming. In her recent senior Sous Chef roles back in Toronto she has worked in two esteemed restaurants pushing the paddock to plate ideals, Farmhouse Tavern, and Skin & Bones. Thankfully for us at the Blue Swimmer, her wish to travel and seek new adventures, led her to our sleepy restaurant here on the other side of the world where she continues to cook with fresh, seasonal, local ingredients, gardening, traveling and drinking wine and blowing our customers away with her food.