Daniel Boller has been working in the food industry for ten years. At the tender age of 25 he has achieved many highlights in his career but is humble enough to realise he still has a lot to learn in his journey to becoming a truly great chef.
Dan's interest in cooking was sparked at an early age watching his mother cook for the family. "Nothing was more exciting than opening her cupboard doors to find piles of cookbooks in every cuisine imaginable," Dan says. This was the beginning of an unyielding passion to create beautiful and delicious food using the best produce available.
Dan started his apprenticeship in Lithgow NSW at the end of year 11, cooking Modern Australian Cuisine at CJs. Within a few years he was promoted to head chef but craved a challenge so began moving around looking for new innovative cooking opportunities. His search took him to Sydney and Hamilton Island before he found his inspirational mentors, James Williams and Ryan McBurney at Iceworks in Brisbane. Dan credits James and Ryan with opening his eyes to the possibilities in the food industry. Dan followed James to The Villager Hotel in George St, Brisbane where they opened a new establishment and built a strong reputation for quality Australian Cuisine.
After James left for a job in Hong Kong Dan was promoted to head chef after only a year and says this was "the opening he had been waiting for his whole life". He achieved remarkable distinctions while at The Villager, making the top three chefs in the QHA awards, pulling in rave reviews including a mention in The Gourmet Traveller which cited that he had the best steak and lunch service in Brisbane.
Along with his employment at these landmark Brisbane restaurants Dan has also teamed up with celebrity chefs to conduct cooking demonstrations, and has had the honour of writing menus for Chandon Wines, Wolf Blass and many high-flying corporate functions.
Now Dan is on the move again, heading up to Eiley's Restaurant in Highfields as head chef. Eiley's has recently been bought by Rick Osbourne who owns and operates three other successful Toowoomba establishments, The Angel Café, Kingfisher Café and Preston Manor.
Dan's vision is 'basic food done well'. He likes to keep things simple and use each product to its full potential. He feels that many chefs find themselves getting lost by using too many ingredients and trying to make something that sounds amazing but never really gets to the point of its potential. "Let the heart of your dish sing out and speak for itself, rather than making it a science project which blows up in the end" is Dan's philosophy.