Chef Dana Honn

Dana HonnDana grew up working in his family’s Mexican restaurant, where he was in the kitchen as a prep and line cook by the age of 11. After his parents sold the business to the city’s mayor, he continued working in restaurants while studying for his degree in music composition, with a minor in Indian (South Asian) studies. Following graduation, he moved to Brazil where he taught instrumental music, drama and musical theater in an International high school. While living there, he traveled throughout South America and developed a passion for the history, food and cultures he encountered, and spent a good deal of his free time researching and recreating the food he’d experienced.

Returning to the United States, Dana and his wife, Christina (who is Brazilian) moved to San Francisco. Dana accepted a position at a local media company, writing entertainment, recreation and restaurant previews while Christina cooked at restaurants. Eventually, they started their own film production company, which included whole-food-based catering services. Soon thereafter, they began giving cooking classes, with a concentration on vegan and vegetarian cuisine. In 2005 (a few months before Katrina), production work and a love for the city led them to New Orleans. After 5 year searching for a space, they secured a spot in the Warehouse District to start Carmo, a restaurant and bar which brings the flavours and narrative of tropical foods to diners, with an emphasis on sustainability, exemplified by ongoing local and national certifications for their efforts.

Dana is a member of the Slow Food Chef’s Alliance, Chef’s Collaborative, American Culinary Federation, and a 2014 “Best Chef of Louisiana” recipient. He has been a featured chef, speaker, educator, delegate and panelist at many local, national events and international events, including Farm to Table International, Slow Fish International in Genoa, Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Turino, Sea Web International and for the past five years has been a featured chef presenter at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. His interviews and articles profiling sustainably-minded chefs, fishers and farmers around the tropics have been featured by a variety of national publications. As a passionate supporter of local farmers and fishers, he is also the founder of the Tropical Foodways Institute, launched in 2013 with a primary function of acting as a conduit for research, education and resources relating to the cuisine and culture of the tropics, its history and preservation.

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