Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Speaking with Chefs - Who am I?

Born in Baden, Switzerland, in 1936
10 Marks
1954 Berne, Switzerland - Gold Medal for Hospitality at the International Swiss Tourism and Culinary Expo
1954 Munich, Germany - Gold Medal for "Hervorragende Leistungen" at the International Gastronomy and "Fremdewerkehr mit Konditoren Fachhausstellung"
1956 Frankfurt, Germany - Gold Medal at the International Culinary Competition in Germany 1956 Konstanz, Switzerland - Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution at the International Gastronomy Competition for Restaurants and Hotel
1977 French Festival Prix d'honneur
1982 Guide Bon Voyage for Consistence and Excellence in Cuisine
8 Marks
1980 - 1992 awarded Three Hats by the Age Good Food Guide for his restaurant
6 Marks
Owner and chef at his restaurant Two Faces
1981 - 1986 awarded Quelltaller Award Best Cellar National
1986 Club Prosper Montagne International Award and recognized as a Legend - Melbourne Wine and Food Festival
2000 Pioneer of Les Toques Blanches - Victorian Chapter

4 Marks
Retired in 2003
2 Marks
I am Herman Schneider
I had the opportunity to reminisce with Hermann Schneider, a legend on the Melbourne culinary scene, as chef and owner of Two Faces for 28 years. The Two Faces was the first restaurant in Australia to be invited to join the prestigious European and North American Chain – Relais Gourmande and Relais et Chateaux.
In the autumn of 1956, Hermann was selected by the Australian Government to travel to Melbourne and work as Chef for the European team at the 1956 Olympic Games. At the end of the Games, Hermann decided to stay in Melbourne and took on a position as Chef de Partie at the Chevron Hotel, Melbourne
When he arrived in Australia fine dining was almost non existent. The only common restaurants were very indifferent quality Chinese restaurants which were scattered through Melbourne and often offered Australian dishes like fish and chips or steak and eggs opposite their Cantonese menus. Gradually Italian restaurants were becoming popular and then everyone began to take an interest in French cooking. This was the era of rise to prominence of Madam de Stoop, Diane Holuigue and Beverley Sutherland-Smith who all had outstanding schools teaching Cordon Bleu style methods.
There was only a small range of spices available and relatively little in the way of hi-tech equipment.
The classical French sauces Bernaise, Hollandaise, Veloute and Espagnole were made daily by chefs. Could today's young chefs make them?

There was loyalty to restaurants and chef’s were missed if they took a day off.
The dining public did not seek theatre or extraordinary food combinations but consistent good food well prepared. There was no need to be constantly searching for new and unusual textures and tastes.
Despite retiring several years ago Herman continues to cook from time to time for special functions. The most recent was a meal for 32 for the Chaine des Rotisseurs at the home of Beverley Sutherland-Smith
How many of Melbournes celebrity chef's have a record to match Hermann Schneider?


stickyfingers said...

As a child my first experience of Herr Schneider was in the hands of my parents dining at his venues. I recall many great meals at Two Faces.

Later as an adult I made a regular pilgrimage to Arthur's Seat for the best view and his fantastic food, with service watched over by his wife. His legacy is the stable of Melbourne chefs he trained, including Teague Ezard.

Now retired after the passing of his wife, I miss him thoroughly and his Arthurs Seat restaurant.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had the the opportunity to experience these restaurants. It was a pleasure to speak with Herman who impressed as a very straight forward guy not driven by complexes

Anonymous said...

Herman has been a great inspiration for me and I expect thousands of lucky others who had the opportunity to searn from him, uncompromising I would say and a never ending desire to ply his trade and pass on his knowledge
Thank you Herman