About Peter Anderson
Peter Anderson was an apprentice chef between 1974 and 1978 at McLure’s Family Restaurant in St Kilda Road in Melbourne. He enrolled to do his training at William Angliss. At that time there were no other hospitality training colleges in Melbourne.
He explains that in his first year there were too many students and so he was sent to Brighton Technical School. The teachers were from William Angliss but were not happy about domestic science kitchen and would often dismiss the students early and go to the pub. The training was very basic – largely because of the training environment but it was very different when he went into second year which was at William Angliss, “when we got to the next year it was really hard!” he comments.
He remembers that chef-teachers team taught and often would not agree on how things were to be done. Colin Duncan was an inspirational teacher and they ended up working together at the Arts Centre. Ernie Schwab was also teaching him there.
Peter describes the atmosphere at William Angliss: It was wonderful – walking through the long corridors can only be compared to seeing the cricket at Lords – and there was an aura those days … 40 years ago. I think it was to do with the old buildings – the long corridors through all the different sections – it was not like any other environment in any of the other colleges that I have seen then and now.
After finishing his apprenticeship Peter went overseas for a year then came back to work at the Pickwick Restaurant, then Ansett Airlines. At this time he decided he no longer wanted to be a chef – the thought of doing this work at 50 years old scared him so he moved into management and front of house joining the Denny’s group which was licenced by Ansett. He then worked for Spotless at the Arts Centre and eventually opened his own restaurant Selby’s in the 1990s. This was a difficult time to be operating a restaurant and eventually he sold this business and joined Graham Brown’s team and worked as a teacher at Dandenong Tafe.
The biggest change that he has seen in the industry is that chefs are more mature now and better mannered. They no longer rant and rave and throw tantrums –this sort of behaviour is no longer tolerated.
Peter acknowledges the role William Angliss played in his career: William Angliss had a reputation in the era – there was no one else providing catering training but wherever I went – even overseas – it was recognised so it was good for my reputation. I had quality training
Summary of the Interview
Interviewer: Jill Adams
Interviewee: Peter Anderson
Date of Interview: 20/08/2012
Recording Format: MP3
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