Lee Evans, who was responsible for creating the menus at Victors in Hale and Alderley Edge, has been brought in to take Dash’s food to the next level.
The Victoria Street venue has become a glamorous must-go in the city since it opened in December last year.
Now owners, The 15 Group, are keen to give it an extra edge and Liverpool-born Lee has his sights set high.
“Dash already has great tasting food, but I want to give it that something special which makes sure we are the number one Pan Asian restaurant in the city and we look to put ourselves up there with the very best,” he says.
“Liverpool has some fabulous chefs, people like Paul Askew at The Art School, Ellis Barrie who’s coming to the Albert Dock and Aiden Byrne, and I would really love to put myself and Dash up there with them.”
The 37-year-old, from Old Swan, has been a chef for 21 years, working in some of Liverpool’s best-loved restaurants.
After starting his career at Blundell Street as a junior sous chef he went on to work at Pan American, Piccolino and as opening head chef for Paul Heathcote’s Olive Press. He was also head chef for Jamie’s Italian for three years before working around the country for the chain, overseeing openings and regional training with head chefs.
Most recently Lee was operations chef with East Coast Concepts which owns Victors in Hale, Alderley Edge and Oxford, and Neighbourhood Restaurant & Bar.
“I wanted to come back home to Liverpool and a friend recommended Dash because theirs is a style of food that I really enjoy producing.
“They wanted somebody who they could give full autonomy to in running the kitchen operation, including creating an exciting new menu, and I loved the idea of that challenge.”
Lee says he’s keen to meet, and exceed, their expectations.
“What they want as a brand is very clear. It’s very slick and sexy, but it’s not pretentious, it’s somewhere you can relax and enjoy the environment and hopefully the food will be fun as well.
“For me it’s all about the style of cooking and the execution. The produce is already great, but I want to introduce new cooking techniques and some quirky ideas that will provide a little bit of theatre as well, so we’ll have a modern sushi section on our new menu and we’ll be creating cocktails to pair with the food as a cooler alternative to traditional wine pairing.”
Dean Jones, one of four partners in The 15 Group, says Lee is a perfect fit for Dash.
“Lee came in and did a cook-off for us to show us some of the dishes he could produce and they were absolutely in line with the brand. It’s really exciting for us to have Lee joining Dash because he has the same ambitions for the restaurant as we do – we both want to produce dishes people have never had before in Liverpool and keep pushing for that wow factor.”