Hubert &Dan is led by Tasmanian chef Danielle Lefrancois.
Growing up in Tasmania Danielle had an early interest in food, starting her career in the hospitality industry 17 years ago by moving from her home town of Launceston to the spectacular East Coast of Tasmania where she worked in food and beverage service at Freycinet Lodge for a number of years.
Experiencing the call of the wonders of youth and food she decided to move to Melbourne where and landed a job at iconic France-Soir in South Yarra. After 5 years as part of their front of house team and assisting with cold larder prep she found herself constantly drawn to the kitchen, her finger in pans. It was here she realised that cooking was where her true passion lay.
She began her apprenticeship under Geraud Fabre and learnt the fundamentals of French cooking and working in a fast paced kitchen as well as finally getting to taste all the dishes.
It turned out Dan was a pretty good student. Winning a number of cooking competitions she was nominated for apprentice of the year with Holmesglen’s TAFE (2008).
For her final year as an apprenticeship Danielle sought new challenges and secured a job at Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill at Crown Casino. It was here that she learnt new and inspiring techniques using premium Australian produce.
Completing her apprenticeship and the world at her feet Danielle spread her wings and headed to France with her husband Fabien. Here she explored food and eating opportunities in Paris, working in event catering for Eliance at Parc des expositions de Paris-Nord Villepinte. She even worked an eye-opening season in Corsica at a nudist resort. During her time in Paris her first son Luca arrived and at the start of 2010 the trio returned home.
Now home in Tassie, Dan ventured back into food at the top, spending time working under Craig Will at The Black Cow in Launceston and she launched into running her first business “Miam Miam” which specialised in supplying gourmet handmade biscuits to cafes and restaurants statewide and furthered Dan’s amazing skills creating sweet treats.
The next major step in Dan’s career came when she started working for well-known Tasmanian company Tasmania Gourmet Kitchen.
Under the guidance of owner and head cook Caroline Dowling, Dan has spent the last 3 years working in catering and the company’s offshoot café ‘The Home of the Artisan’ .
Her time with TGK gave Dan the opportunity to work the team at incredible venues such as Brickendon , Santosha at Little Beach, Lake House and Leaning Church vineyards. The QVMAG, Bay of Fires Vineyards as well as many private locations also all featuring on the foodie season calendar. Other highlights included showcasing her delicious desserts at premier Tasmanian food and wine events such as Festivale and the Dark Mofo winter feast. Dan’s time with TGK helped cemented her skills in feeding lots of people amazing food out of marquees in paddocks and small or makeshift kitchens as well as fine-tuned her skills in meeting the varied and often complex needs of private catered events.
Drawn to the buzz of events and running her own company again Danielle took on the opportunity to open her own café at the same site as Tasmania Gourmet Kitchen’s “Home of the Artisan” when Caroline left for a life in England.
Dan and her family, Fabien, Luca and Noah, now live in Longford and love the local community, and is celebrating the opportunity to balance her work commitments, both at the café and event catering, with her family life in such a positive, fulfilling way.