Dan Hong on throwing the ultimate Cali-Mexican party

28 September, 2017 by
Madeline Woolway

With Good Food Month kicking off in less than a week, Hospitality spoke with Dan Hong to get the lowdown about the Cali-Mexican party he’s throwing with Mitch Orr.

New to Good Food Month this year is Hyde Park Palms. When the precinct launches on October it will treat guests to 17 days of Palm Spring vibes. Designed by Caroline Beresford designs, the vibrant hub will offer everything from a talk with culinary great Marco Pierre White to panel discussions and inventive brunches. Joining the long list of high-calibre chefs gathering at Palm Springs is Dan Hong, who’s teaming up with Mitch Orr to bring a little bit of Mexican cuisine to Sydney.

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While inspiration abounded on their recent trip to LA and Mexico, it was the street food of Tulum, on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, that has most influenced the menu at the upcoming Cali-Mexican party on 14 October.

“We ate loads of street food, tacos and stuff cooked over open fire, so that’s what we’ve been most inspired by,” Hong told Hospitality.

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“There was this awesome place in Tulum called Taqueria Honorios. You had to go there really early for breakfast otherwise they’d run out. They had two types of pig — conchinita pibil (suckling pig marinated in a citrus juice) and roast suckling pig — so you could just get two different tacos, but they were probably the best tacos we had in Mexico.”

While Hong had one of the best meals of his life at Noma Mexico — “we went there expecting it blow our minds and it really did,” he says — Hyde Park Palms’ Cali-Mexican party will be a more low-key affair, mimicking the vibe of locals like Taqueria Honorios.

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“We just want to have a really fun casual party, where people drink tequila and beer and eat lots of tacos, while smelling meat cooking over charcoal,” says Hong. “What could be better than that?”

It’s a tough question to answer, but roving waiters will be armed with more dishes inspired by the heat of a Mexican summer.

“Another of the great meals we had was eating ceviche on the beach, the freshest lobster ceviche ever, so there’ll be stuff like that going around too,” says Hong.

Ultimately, the event is also a great excuse for the duo to cook together.

“It’s always good to cook with friends, especially at something like Good Food Month in space made just for the event.”

Luckily, diners can reap the rewards.

Check out the event’s full menu to see what Hong and Orr have in store.

Image: Nikki To