Masterchef S01 ep2: Walter Trupp, Trupp Restaurant, [Melbourne]

Interview with Walter Trupp

My biggest surprise was that people in Australia are interested in what you do. They sit all night , really want to be entertained and question the food. In London, there can be 3-4 sittings in one night, nobody questions what is in the food, or how you do it.


KM: What is Langtons?

It belongs to a wine auction house and when they did the auction they were
thinking to do a wine bar, and they turned the wine bar into a restaurant.

KM: So you have been here from the start?

No, I have not been here from the start, Philip Michel was the head chef and
then there was another head chef in between and I have been here for the last
year and a half.

I became a cook because my parents had a small restaurant in the Austrian
countryside, so my parents sent me to do an apprenticeship. I really didn't like
cooking in the beginning and then I bought book of Austrian chefs in Germany
and that is how I started loving cooking from the food magazines and cook
books. I would see this beautiful food and how you can actually treat food.

From there I went to one of the best restaurants in Austria at that time,

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

KM: Which was


KM: Whereabouts is that? In Vienna or?

That is close to Salzburg.

KM: What was so good about Esselveck?

Basically it was the first restaurant in Austria that received 3 Gault Milleau

KM: What did you learn there?

Treating food completely different. Keeping it much more fresh and working
with much more fresh ingredients and pay more attention to detail and there
you basically cooked. There we were basically 10 chefs for 30 customers.

After that I went back home and was crazy enough to open my own
restaurant... we took like a small guest house, a small hotel in the country side.
I took 4 rooms and made it into a 20 seater restaurant and ran it for 7 years,
got 18 points in Gourmeault than I moved to London.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Why London? Because I definitely needed to learn organisational skills. I think
I knew how to cook but I didn’t know how to organise or run bigger places and
the second thing was the language because I didn't speak English and I
wanted to learn English.

KM: It is probably easier to learn English in London.


Yes, I think London in a way is a bit more tolerant towards foreigners than Pais
- in a way.

I worked a couple of months at the Waterside Inn and then I joined Marco. I
started at the Criterion where we did 450 covers per night.

KM: That is a lot of covers.

Then I went to Titanic which was a new restaurant nightclub and there we did
up to 750 a night.

KM: Your kidding?

It wasn't fine dining but the food quality was really good.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

KM: Then what did you do after that.

After I went to Rundufners an Italian restaurant in Kensington, Chelsea it was
Princess Dianna's favourite restaurant, then I opened Charlotte Street Hotel in
London, then I went back to Marco for another 2 1/2 years.

I wanted to leave England and I spoke to a friend of mine, and he had a
contact with Donovan Cook from Ondine, and he told me about Langtons and
at that time the head chef had just left so I called Stuart Langtons up and a
week later I was on the plane for an interview

KM: And off you went! What was your first reaction of Australia

Honestly I did not expect that people would be so interested in food.

KM: Oh really?

In London it is a bit like, after a while, you work in a restaurant they have 2
sittings, 3 sittings, you know people don't really pay attention, while here
people sit all night and really want to be entertained, really question the food.
In London nobody questions what is in it, or how do you do that whereas in
Australia people are really interested in what you do.

Where I see a difference to Europe is about the produce. Look Australia is a
great wine country but the food produce I feel it is still..... especially with
vegetables and things. I am not trying to say the word like vintage vegetables,
but in Europe you can get a selection of the best vegetables whereas here you
really struggle a bit, or getting the consistency. You can get it sometimes and
next week you can't get it.

KM: How would you describe your style of cooking?

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

I have tried to create really complex food. I don't try to create crazy food, but in
its way it is modern and complex. I want to make it so people can understand
the flavours and combinations I don't want to give the customer riddles.

KM: Having the kitchen exposed when you first got here was that a bit strange
for you, straight away?

Oh that was alright I had been used to working in open kitchens and the thing
is as soon as service starts on a busy night you soon switch off, you get on
with it. I think it is pretty organised and it is a quiet kitchen and I think it is great
for the customers too especially if the restaurant is half full at least something
is happening and there is some movement there.

The old Head Chef he would go off his head sometimes and at this one stage
he threw a pan and he thought that they weren't going to see it out there
because there is a small wall and he actually missed the wall and the pan flew
right over the tables and over the customers head.

KM: You're kidding?

It was a bad thing.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Walter Trupp, trupp Restaurant, [Melbourne]