Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson

Born:

 

Northampton, England

 

History:

 

I did my apprenticeship at Coco’s restaurant in South Perth before working my way around a few different dining establishments in Cottesloe, Subiaco, Perth and Fremantle. I then took a little while to myself to travel, followed by a move to Dunsborough and the opening of Quay West Bunker Bay resort, where I had a short stint before transferring to the beautiful Hawksbury Valley in NSW.

 

After wanting a move to the luxury side of resorts, I was hired as the Executive Chef of Bedarra Island and really started my life in fine food. I moved to the Maldives and was leading some top luxury resort kitchens, including Como Resort Cocoa Island, Huvafenfushi Resort and Jumeirah Dhevanafushi.

 

I also had a short stint as Executive Chef at The Sebel Hotel Melbourne and at George Calombaris’ The Press Club Group. I again moved overseas to lead the kitchen and F & B operation of one of Oman’s top luxury resorts, Alila Jabal Akhdar.

 

After spending time in Oman, I moved to Vanuatu and was General Manager of The Havannah Resort, a boutique luxury resort.

 

This led me back to Australia with my wife to settle and build something of our own - the project of bringing La Casina Restaurant back to life in beautiful Dunsborough. This is where I spend my time these days.

 

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

 

When I was a child, my Mum was a really good cook and I loved to eat, so I would spend a lot of time in the kitchen with her and as I grew up, I decided I wanted to be a Chef. When I started my apprenticeship, for the first time I found something that I was good at; I loved the pressure and camaraderie of being in such a driven team environment.

 

How would you define your style?

 

Contemporary Australian cuisine - food which is produce driven with deft simplicity.

 

What is your feature flavour these days?

 

I have a deep love of Levantine cuisine and the flavours of the Mediterranean.

 

Obsessive-compulsive about?

 

Seasonal and locally sourced produce.

 

Your greatest culinary influence:

 

Our farmers.

 

What do you love about this business?

 

Seeing the happiness and smiles on people’s faces after they had a great dining experience.

 

An ingredient you can’t live without?

 

Chilli, fresh herbs and spices.


La Casina Dunsborough

La Casina Dunsborough

For fine Italian dining in gorgeous leafy surrounds, look no further than La Casina on Caves Road, just 2km out of the Dunsborough township. A charming cottage setting is the ultimate definition of cosy, where wooden tables and chairs create an intimate dining atmosphere, while those wishing to dine alfresco can admire the Dunsborough-Yallingup forest views from white cane furniture on the outdoor terrace. A modern Italian menu focuses on local produce and authentic, imported Italian ingredients prepared in-house, from starters of bruschetta – three types with toppings ranging from pancetta to spicy Calabrian nduja, while pasta dishes like gnocchi with salsa di pomodoro, mozzarella, shaved parmesan and basil and strozzapreti (short spaghetti) with local-caught fish are sure to satisfy.

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