Claudio Magris

Pioneer Year

1998 (Deceased)

BORN: 29/06/1923 Northern Italy DIED: 24 / 12 / 2001 Australia Claudio was born in Northern Italy in the village of Malnisio in the province of Friuli, Northern Italy in 1923 and was the youngest of six children. He was influenced by his older brothers, to pursued a career as a cook. Venice was to become the training ground for his professional yearning and at the age of fourteen, he began his formal training as an apprentice cook. His initial training in ‘Bar Roma’ and ‘Trattoria Colombo’ enabled him to pursue his interest in ‘Classical’ and ‘Provincial’ cooking and he gained more experience in several large Venetian Hotels and quickly rose to the position of First Commis. In 1950, he was one of seven cooks commissioned by Mr. Tony Vigano, Hotelier of the then leading Melbourne Restaurant and Hotel, Mario’s Hotel, as Chef De Partie. The intention of this small group of Europeans was to offer the Australian public a level of Cuisine based on European standards and potentially to develop a unique Australian Cuisine. Australia offered the attractions of abundant fresh produce and opportunities for growth and development on personal and professional levels. This inspired Claudio to remain and dedicate his working life to cooking and sharing on skills with many peers and apprentices in Australia. Thus began the successful career of Claudio Magris in Australia. He married an Australian and nurtured a family of three children and his love for Australia led him to become a naturalized Australian in 1962. During his lifetime Claudio worked across three continents, Italy, Australia and Canada and was highly esteemed both internationally and domestically. He devoted 63 years (50 years in Australia, of cooking experience in some of the worlds leading hotels and restaurants, 37 of then as Executive Chef. In his lifetime, Claudio has earned successes for Australia and himself that were unrivalled in his profession. He was one of very few chefs in Australia to be highly awarded with titles and Honours, for his profession as a Chef. He was recognized on State, National and International levels by his peers for his prowess as a ‘Master Chef’ as well as a master in the decorative arts associated with the Culinary Arts. Claudio’s contributions to the Culinary Industry in Australia and in particular Victoria during the 1950% 1960’s, 1870’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s, showed his breadth and dedication. His reputation as a master in his profession was dearly shown in his commitment to:

  • The education and training of apprentices and the education.
  • The training of Australian Culinary Olympic teams.
  • The promotion of the Culinary Arts in Victoria and Australia through his involvement as: a Chef, Judge, Founding member of the Guild of Cooks, his committee membership in the Guild, and involvement in The Catering Institute of Australia.
  • The promotion of Australian food products and catering technology.
  • His contribution to the successful promotion of Federal and State Government Functions, Festivals and Charity Functions.
  • The education of the culinary palette of Australians and promoting the use of Australian produce through his participation in national and International Food Service Seminars and Culinary Olympics.
  • The reputation of the Australian Culinary Industry, as a member of the first Australian Team to compete in the Culinary Olympics in Germany 1968, and subsequent involvement in several other Olympic competitions and international Salon Culinaires.
  •  Claudio represented Australia as a member of the Victorian and Queensland Culinary Olympic teams on several occasions and personally won four gold medals and assisted his teams; to achieve other prestigious awards that included the coveted Ehren prize for teamwork, The Grand Medal of Honour from the Guild of Chefs Germany, and the OSCAR Culinary Medal, an American Food Award. The 1968 team brought back 9 gold medals
  • Claudio also represented Australia on more than one occasion at the Salon Culinaire held in Singapore and Japan, personally achieving two prestigious golden clover medals and one bronze.
  • Locally, Claudio won many gold medals at ‘Food Service’ Culinary exhibitions and certificates of recognition for his Presidents table centerpieces and contribution to judging competitions.
  • Claudio was one of the founding members of the Australasian Guild of Professional Cooks (A.G.P.C.), and was made a Master Member in 1974 and subsequently made an Honorary Life Member.
  • In recognition for his outstanding contributions, the Catering Institute of Australia (awarded him the title of Fellow and Chef Chapter. He was also made an Honorary Member of the Professional Chefs and Cooks Association of Queensland in 1984, and awarded a medal and plaque in recognition of his encouragement and support to the National Cooking Team.
  • In 1988, the Dandenong College of T.A.F.E., (Melbourne), Hospitality Studies Department, dedicated one of their training Kitchens to Claudio in recognition of the expertise and outstanding skill.
  • Claudio also earned the greatest honour that can be bestowed to a professional, the respect of peers and fellow colleagues. In 1990, he received the highest honour that exists in the culinary trade in Australia, the prestigious Black Hat Award. At the time, this award had only be given to four other Chefs in Australia’s history and is an award only achieved through exemplary merit.
  •  In 1990 he was also nominated as an ‘Honorary Life Member’ to The World Association of Cooks Societies. At the time there were only 70 members in the world, and Claudio became only the second Australian Chef to receive the membership nomination.
  • In 1998, Claudio was recognized as one of the “Pioneers” of the Food Industry in Australia by Les Toques Blanches to recognize his outstanding achievements and contribution within the cookery Industry.