The man behind the menu: The Mez Club has a new head chef

Dayron Concepcion’s career began after a fight with his Grandma, over a dry chicken.

A few months ago, Dayron Concepcion stepped into The Mez Club kitchen. As our new head chef, Dayron brings 15 years of experience and a range of culinary techniques collected from international restaurants around the globe.

On September 25th, Dayron and his team launched our new menu. The menu features Italian, Spanish and French-inspired dishes that Dayron knows well. And draws on seasonal food with fresh flavours.

Following our launch, we want to share a little bit about Dayron and his professional journey, to offer insights into the man behind these incredible new flavours. 

Dayron’s love affair with cooking began as a teen and he remains ever passionate about food today.

“I started cooking after a fight with my Grandma,” Dayron shared.

Dayron said his Grandma is a wonderful cook, especially when it comes to flan caramel. But one night she cooked him a chicken dish which unlocked a hidden passion for cooking himself.

‘The chicken was pretty disgusting and dry,’ Dayron explained to his Grandma.

“I told her, maybe you need to do the chicken different? Because I don’t like it.”

Like all wise cooks, she told Dayron he was not entitled to comment, in her kitchen, until he had a culinary diploma and years of experience behind him.

He dropped out of his marine biology degree - explaining he was too hyperactive for computer work anyway - and accepted the challenge of proving his opinion on cooking mattered.

Dayron started culinary school and learned of his passion working in the kitchen.

“I loved the feeling of the rush in the kitchen and the beer after service,” he joked.

“This kept me going and after that I discovered a whole new world.”

Dayron grew up in Cuba and after completing his culinary diploma, moved with his family to Canada. There, he worked in kitchens throughout Montreal for 12 years. 

He started his first job in a French/Spanish restaurant and quickly impressed restaurant owners with his ability to work well under pressure, take on new challenges and own attention to detail.

Over the years, he has worked for restaurants such as Les enfants Terribles - Outremont, Montreal,  Le Cinq - Montreal as well as Rae’s on Wategos - Byron Bay.

We are thrilled that he is now part of our team.

“In Canada, I saw different possibilities in the kitchen,” he shared.

After arriving in Canada, Dayron had the opportunity to cook with a variety of new fruits, vegetables and meats unavailable in Cuba.

For Dayron, it’s crucial to use multiple techniques from various traditions to create the perfect meal. 

If Dayron is cooking a traditional Australian dish, he might use Italian techniques to cook the meat.

“I do whatever is going to make it taste better, respecting the ingredients, which is the most important thing.”

Dayron says he loves cooking because it allows people to have a good time and enjoy the experience. 

A few ways he ensures The Mez Club customers enjoy our food, is by sourcing top quality ingredients. You will see ingredients such as local macadamias, fresh cheese from Byron Bay Mozzarella, mouthwatering olives, and fresh fish, throughout our menu.

The only thing that we have not changed is our theme that focuses on sharing. As we all know, food tastes better among those we love. Business associates included.

We’ve only scratched the surface of Dayron’s story, with more than a decade of experience working in the kitchen; he has many tales to tell. But that should tide you over for now.

Our menu was created with the support of Sous Chef Federico Osorio, and of course, The Mez Club owners Rob and Monica.