Steffen Achtmann – culinary teacher in Australia
Steffen Achtmann is culinary teacher in Australia. What does the teaching system look like in Australia? We answer some interesting questions.
You just finished your study to become a culinary teacher. Why did you chose this new challenge?
I have been passionate about teaching and training for years. A lot has changed since I started as a young chef. The demand on qualified, well trained chefs which love what they do, has been increased, more than there are good chefs out there. I want to help to change that.
So soon you will teach the new generation of chefs in Australia. What is important to you for this new task?
I have been a chef for over 20 Years and I gathered a lot of knowledge as well as live lessons. I would like to inspire the new generation of chefs and prepare them for their future.
On the other hand you are running your own Catering company Luxe Catering + Events (www.luxecateringandevents.com) What is your culinary orientation/ what do you offer?
This company is where I’m able to live my culinary ideas. Where I can create the kind of catering event I like to be a customer of. Great service, delicious food made of premium products, served in an elegant, Luxurious way.
We are pensioned about delivering high standards of modern culinary food to the table.
Operating your own Catering company, would be time filling enough. Why are you not working 100% in this segment?
The most Events are scheduled around the weekend. So a majority of our work takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday including preparation and organisation. That gives me time to focus on Teaching the culinary students.
What makes you happy?
I’m the happiest person if I can be with my kids and my wife, spending quality time together, have something delicious to eat and relax as well as creating new dishes and Menus, be part of the positive development of my Students or finishing a busy but successful dinner service.
Did your career as a chef change you as a person and if so, how?
Oh… good question! The most important I took out of my apprenticeship. Was “what you give is what you get”.
You can make mistakes if you give your best. You a part of the team and there is a hierarchy which you need to respect.
I started my apprenticeship when I was 16 years of age not knowing cooking (or more working in a kitchen) will have such a tremendous impact on my world. I really wanted to be a pilot or an actor but luckily that never happened.
My live was all about having fun, don’t worry about tomorrow, reliability was a word I didn’t take to serious. Starting in a kitchen was kind of a slap in the face for me, like a reality check. I was a bit of a trouble maker, class clown. But I have been very ambitious if I wanted something and have never been a quitter.
After the first shock of the hard live in the kitchen, working 12 hours prepping, sending food, been yelled at and another2-3 hours dishwashing, including the usually kitchen clean. I still liked the kind of brotherhood and team work, the stand together- win together attitude. I have learned to have respect, to work for my goals and what I really want to achieve in live.
If you would have the time to write a book, what would it be about?
I like to write about my own recipes, health and nutrition for Kids and families
What motto do you have for your work and life?
As I mentioned before: “You get what you give”
What situations have helped you the most in your development as a chef?
Having great Head chef’s and mentors along the way.
The greatest influence on me had Jeffrey James Vella, award winning Maltese chef during my work with Kempinski in Gozo ( Malta), which you have interviewed as well.
Thank you Steffen.
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