A gastronomical experience that stirs the emotions of taste, visual, tactile and olfactory, Restaurant Dan Arnold is the first restaurant by a man who replaced studying books with studying recipes. After graduating high school, Dan did not realise his culinary passion immediately. Studying dual degrees in Law and Science at university, he discovered his love for cooking while working part time. After making the decision to drop out of university, he attained his first apprenticeship at modern Italian restaurant Il Centro on Eagle Street Pier. Realising a hunger for French cuisine, he moved to the south of France for a more in-depth foray into the country’s gastronomy. Joining two Michelin star Chef Serge Vieira in 2012 as Sous Chef, Dan was encouraged to compete in the ‘Culinary Olympics’, the Bocuse d’Or in 2017, representing Australia. “Our team were ranked 8th in the world, the highest achievement ever reached by an Australian team in this global competition.”
Now with a place to call his own, Restaurant Dan Arnold is run in partnership with French born wife Amelie, who Dan touts as being the “face of the Chef”. The gastro-adventure takes up residence on the ground floor of Fortitude Valley’s Alex Perry Hotel and Apartments, seating 40 comfortably, with room for 10 at the bar. “Our restaurant offers regional cuisine treated with utmost care and translated into well plated and refined dishes, sharing what we have learnt and experienced over our time in France and abroad to bring these dishes to our diners in a more homely, relaxed environment,” said Dan. “This restaurant is our canvas for that – there are no rules!”
Offering three and five course menus, Dan personally curates each experience, often changing the “rules” in the moment depending on availability of produce, influenced by seasons and ingredients. The kitchen is open plan, fostering a relationship between Chef and diner, as each whisk, slice and sauté is carefully watched by the ultimate consumer of each dish. The dynamic menus are complemented by matching wines if desired, and a laden cheese trolley carts local and imported cheeses throughout the restaurant for a post-meal indulgence.
Above cooking a menu that is repeatedly recreated in his mind’s eye, Dan says it is his second family in the kitchen who make it a pleasure to come to work each day. “The adrenalin and the comradery both in the kitchen and throughout the entire restaurant team is definitely my favourite part of the job.”
Dan Arnold gives advice to home cooks with a worldly mindset, “Follow the recipe. If you read through the entire recipe, and try to understand fully the process required, then your first attempt is guaranteed to be a success.” But the best advice he ever received? “Learn with your eyes. Don’t wait to be told, watch and listen and learn.”
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