About John MillerThe John Mangan Miller Kitchen at William Angliss Institute is a highly valued teaching and learning resource, used every day by student apprentices. The kitchen was named after John Miller, whose involvement with the college began in 1945, when he enrolled as a ‘Tuesday apprentice’. In 1945, students studied at the college on a particular day every week and John was among the first students who were not affiliated to any of the armed services.
The war finished … and a month later I came here and … was the first apprentice cook to do any training as an apprentice. Between 1939 and 1945 there were many people doing cookery courses, but they were mostly RAAF and Army … and the American Marines. … Between ‘39 and ‘45 cookery was mainly made up of servicemen and was training people for the services. In 1945, they decided they would move to apprenticeships in cookery for the trade.
After completing his apprenticeship, John worked and travelled widely, including London, Hong Kong and Egypt. His apprenticeship and cookery education provided him with the sound basis for him to become a highly accredited chef and industry innovator.
My training … and my studies at the William Angliss College opened doors in all of those places. … When the Australian people came to London to select cooks for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, the reason I was approached was because somebody mentioned I was from William Angliss College.
John worked in Melbourne in the 1960s, and then in 1970 was offered a position as a trainee teacher of basic cookery by then Principal Jock Kerr, who he had trained with 25 years before. He enjoyed his time as a teacher, becoming Head of the Foods Department in 1980. John was then offered a position teaching Western Cookery at Hong Kong Polytechnic, where he taught for four years, eventually returning to the William Angliss Institute in 1984 where he was employed as Senior Curriculum Development Officer. One of his proudest achievements was developing the Diploma program, for which he designed the curriculum and wrote training materials, implemented specialised units, and streamlined the way young Diploma students were taught.
The best thing I did for William Angliss College, after my time in Hong Kong, was to come back and build on what my colleagues had done here in the apprenticeship program. … The thing I’m most proud of was the development of the Diploma Course and the reception it got. I was Executive Officer on that so I had an awful lot of input and I suppose a lot of power. And it all came together, and to this day I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘Oh, I think that was lousy.’ I think we did a very good job and all the people involved (about 30 people) worked very hard … I think that was the best thing I did.
John was also involved in setting the curriculum for state-wide food and culinary programs, developing courses for restaurant operations and introducing more specialised skill units to suit different needs and emerging markets. He also improved training modules for the Army, Navy and Air Force culinary staff. Through his friendship with French Chef Paul Bocuse he also initiated a national search for talented candidates, selected by jury to travel to Lyon to compete in the bi-annual Bocuse Competition for Professional Chefs, one of the most prestigious contests of culinary skills in the world.
John worked for the college until his retirement in 1992, earning an Order of Australia medal for service and dedication to French Cuisine and Cookery in food education programs. He looks back on his time and long history with the institute with a sense of pride and achievement, acknowledging the important role William Angliss Institute played in the expansion of the food industry and trade in Australia.
I often refer to William Angliss Food School as the ‘Mother’ of all catering colleges in Australia. Everything grew out of William Angliss College.
Summary of the InterviewInterviewer: Jill Adams
Interviewee: John Miller
Date of Interview: Part One [8/03/2011] / Part Two [15/03/2011]
Recording Format: MP3
||Experiences at William Angliss
||Apprenticeship in cookery; Melbourne Olympics; Hong Kong Hilton; Nile Hilton; Hyatt; trainee teacher; Jock Kerr; Principal of College; Hong Kong Polytechnic; Principal lecturer; Ray Way; Graham Dodgshun; Senior Curriculum Development Officer; Hospitality & Tourism; State Training Board;
||John Mangan Miller Kitchen & Other Honours
||John Mangan Miller Kitchen; Demonstration Kitchen; commercial cookery; Frankston TAFE; John Miller Award; Dandenong/ Casey TAFE; Order of Australia Medal; Claudio Margas; French cuisine; French Government; Knight of the Order of Merit for Agriculture & Fishery; Paris; Chevalier; Bocuse;
||Friendship with Paul Bocuse
||Paul Bocuse; World Congress of Cooks; Johannesburg; France; Paris; Lyon; Crown Casino; Brisbane; Academy Français; French Cuisine; monk fish; lamb; red signature beef;
||Experiences as a Student, 1945
||Post-war WAI; apprentice cook; RAAF, Army and Marines trainees; Commonwealth Electoral Office; Mike O’Brien; ration cards; Scott’s Hotel; Collins Street; Freemason’s; E.J. Binney; William Angliss Food trade Board; Commercial Travellers’ Club;
||Commercial Travellers’ Club
||Hotel Rendezvous; Men’s Club; Prince Phillip; Navy; Victoria Barracks; sandwiches; pint; beer; Calcutta (sweepstakes); chambermaids; milk; chicken salad; ham salad; lamb salad; yogurt; tripe & onions; shillings; eggs; fried; boiled; sautéed kidneys; fried fish; Commercial Travellers’ Association; wine; beer; Flinders’ Street Station; Plonk; The Railway Hotel; Orlando Wine; CTC Liquor Licence; Sherry;
||WAI Student Experience
||Chef Zimmerman; Miss Finley; Basic Commercial Cookery Course; Italian Cuisine; French Cuisine; London; Goring Hotel; Buckingham Palace;
||Other Career Experiences
||Military service; Army; Cardiff; merchant navy; mercantile cook; Cumberland Marble Arch Hotel; The Savoy; banquet; chicken; turkey; duck; fish; London Polytechnic College; cake decorating course; cookery & pastry;
||Catering the Melbourne Olympic Games
||Hotel Menzies; Melbourne Olympics; Chevron Hotel; Hong Kong; General Macarthur; Hermann Schneider; European Chefs; Two Faces; South Yarra; Heidelberg Olympic Village; Housing Commission;
||Working in Hong Kong and Egypt
||Heliopolis; Hong Kong Hilton; Area Chef; Cheops; Pyramids; Six-day War; 1967; Cyprus; Executive Chef; Nile Hilton; Excelsior Hotel; Rome; Sous Chef; buffet; Chinese; Hepatitis; Alexandria; South Africa;
||Working in Melbourne during the 1960s
||Melbourne Travelodge; St Kilda Road; Executive Chef; Frank Christie; Melbourne Hilton; Chevron Hilton; Beaconsfield Hotel; grills; beer;
||Working at William Angliss
||Hawthorn Teacher’s College; trainee teacher; Technical education; commercial cookery; upmarket cuisine; Australian cuisine; Foods Department Head;
||Hong Kong Polytechnic College 1980-1984
||Catering management; French/English Cuisine; India; Chinese; Macau; Diploma; Front Office; Hospitality; catering; principal lecturer; Thailand; USA; Taiwan;
|1984-1992 WAI Senior Curriculum Development Officer
||Senior Curriculum Development Officer; Intercontinental Hotel; Geneva; Diploma Program; Hong Kong University; Macau University; China University; Advanced Apprenticeship in Cookery; Brighton Tech; South Melbourne; Footscray TAFE; Dandenong/Casey TAFE; Gordon Institute; Geelong; Graham Dodgshun; George Hill; full diploma/degree program; foods department;
||Changes in Melbourne’s Culinary Scene & How WAI adapted
||Graham Dodgshun; academic program; cookery; butchery; bakery; cosmopolitan; Restaurant Operation; Specialised Programs and Skills; Victoria; NSW; pastry; desserts; Black Forest Gateau; Filo Pastry; Greek Restaurants; chocolate cake; new markets; Army, Navy & Air Force training; Yarraville; Puckapunyal; Flinders; Marine; Reserve Force; Nielson Huts; Sergeant Jock Kerr; Catering Corps; Principal Director; Mike O’Brien; Queens’ Road; Gold Coast; Federal Group;
||Bocuse Competition; France; Professional Chefs; Senior Cooks; Lyon; Victoria; Queensland; South Australia; New South Wales; Meat & Allied Trades Competition; SEC Competition for Apprentices; Fruit & Vegetable Associations Competitions; Guild Competitions (Australian Culinary Federation); jury; Luke Mangan; Philippe Mouchel; Brisbane; fish; meat; garnishes; apron; neck chief;
||Biggest Contribution to WAI
||John Mangan Miller Kitchen; David Sanders; Norma Finley; promotion of WAI; Vestey Group; Administration; Armadale, NSW; teacher’s college; summer session; Culinary Studies; Latrobe Street;