David Sanders

Pioneer Year


Born at Finchley, London in 1932. Educated at the Finchley Secondary Grammar School. David got his first interest in cooking at the tender age of 8, when he cooked the family meals whilst his parents were doing war work.

On graduating from Finchley Grammar School in 1948, was accepted as a student at the Westminster Technical College a world-renown Hospitality training centre and the only one of its kind in the U.K. David graduated with a Diploma (Senior Chef’s course) and was offered a position with the Cunard White Star Line as a Student Chef. David accepted and his first appointment was to the R.M.S. Queen Mary At the end of his studentship after working in all positions of the Galley and experiencing International Cuisine he was promoted to Chef de Partie on the R.M.S. Mauratania, cruising the Caribbean Sea for 3 years. David ended up as Chef Tournant and finally Ex Chef- Re-appointed back to the Queen Mary as Ex Chef for six months. The Cunard Line was then approached by Buckingham Palace for a chef, to be seconded to the R.Y. Britannia and which he accepted. His responsibilities were to cook for H.R.H. Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh and to introduce new dishes to the royal table. He spent 8 months on the Royal Yacht in 1956 visiting many ports in a round the world cruise, which included The Dukes opening of the Olympic Games in Melbourne. David also visited the Antarctic on his way back to W. Africa and finally Gibraltar. He was requested to stay on for a further 4 weeks for H.M. Queen Elizabeth II visit to Oporto in Portugal, which David did. On completion of his experience on the Royal Yacht and after encountering for a short time the life-style and conditions in Australia, decided, with his wife Yvonne and son to emigrate to Melbourne. David arrived in Melbourne at Easter in 1957, after sailing in a White Star cargo vessel and landing in Devonport. David applied for a position with the William Angliss Food Trades School in Melbourne and was accepted only to be told that he must get 12 months experience in local catering establishments which David did. David commenced as a student teacher in 1958 and was given the responsibility of all cookery apprentices, and some night classes. Gaining his teaching qualification, David developed and planned apprentice syllabuses, eventually advancing to Head of Department (Food Production), but not before there had been an explosion in apprentice numbers, and the college was soon to become short of classrooms and teaching kitchens not to say very few staff. Told by the Education Department to recruit 16 more student teachers, David was able to secure and fill these positions with ex-apprentices who had shown good aptitude and had 1st class trade experience. This started the ball rolling and the W.A.F.T.S. underwent a big rebuilding program to not only accommodate apprentices but take the Hotel Management students as well for their cookery units of study. A larger commercial restaurant was built and operated as such giving valuable training and experience to students and apprentices alike. However, the college was still not big enough, and the beginning was started to decentralize and open other centers across the State to train apprentices. In 1968 David was selected and asked to represent Australia at the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany. The team of 6 won nine gold medals in total. In 1972, David applied for and was accepted at a Tertiary Institution S.C.V. Rusden. He was appointed as a Senior Lecturer (Food and Food Services) at the Larnook campus in Armadale (Melbourne). His responsibilities entailed lecturing and taking practical classes to High School teachers who were updating their qualifications from a Diploma to a Degree in Home Economics. Units in cookery were also given to under-graduates. In 1981 David was forced into retirement due to illness. During his career as a teacher he was a founding member of the Australian Guild of Professional Cooks being their first Vice President and holding various seats of office finally being honoured with a Life Membership (Honorary). Soon after retirement David and his wife moved to Terang in Western Victoria where he pursued his hobby of fly-fishing and fly tying, and his wife with her interests in spinning and weaving. They have recently moved back to the Mornington Peninsula to be nearer their family.