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Dietmar Sawyere

Dietmar Sawyere, Chef

Internationally acclaimed and award winning chef, Dietmar Sawyere, has been a driving force behind the evolution of Australian restaurants and cuisine since arriving in Melbourne in late 1988.

Swiss born Dietmar comes from a family of restaurateurs and has been involved in preparing and cooking the highest quality of food since the tender age of 14. Leaving school at 16 to work for London's prestigious Savoy Hotel, Dietmar very quickly claimed the position of Chef Saucier before transferring to the group's Connaught Hotel, working under the renowned Michel Bourdin.
Having since worked at some of the world's most exclusive hotels and restaurants, Dietmar has honed his skills in incorporating exotic flavours and ingredients into his menus. His innovation and expertise has been internationally recognized, garnering numerous awards. At 19, he was named Young Chef of the Year in London by The Culinary Academy and the Savoy Company's Best Young Chef in 1982. After moving to New Zealand in 1983 to open Top of the Town Restaurant in the Hyatt Hotel, he was twice named Chef of the Year in New Zealand in both 1984 and 1985, during which time his restaurant was named New Zealand Restaurant of the Year.

Upon leaving New Zealand, Dietmar joined Regent International Hotels in Hong Kong and soon transferred to the Regent of Bangkok as Executive Sous Chef. Working in Asia enabled him to develop a greater understanding and love of exotic herbs and spices.

The hotel group soon rewarded his dedication and talent and in 1988 appointed Sawyere the role of Executive Chef of The Regent of Melbourne.“Le Restaurant” during his reign won every major restaurant award in Melbourne, including the coveted Good Food Guide Award.
However, in 1992, Dietmar received an offer to set up the restaurants at Sydney's Park Lane. The hotel fast became known for its quality cuisine and its flagship restaurant, Gekko, soon found itself as one of Sydney’s most fashionable venues.

Just a year later, an opportunity arose to open a restaurant on the top floor of Chifley Tower, an amazing space originally designed to be Alan Bond's penthouse. Dietmar decided that the time had come to venture out on his own. Later that year, Forty One Restaurant opened its doors, which since then has won no less than 45 Best Restaurant and Wine List Awards and is still trading strongly.
Also in the Chifley Tower Dietmar opened Brasserie Cassis which operated from 1994 to 1999, holding hat in the Good Food Guide. During the 90's Forty One and Brasserie Cassis were the training ground of many of Sydney's top young chefs such as Liam Tomlin, Justin North and Matt Kemp who have all gone on to great acclaim in their own rights.
Deciding to expand ‘overseas’ Dietmar added a new fine dining restaurant in December 1988 located in Auckland, New Zealand. Five City Road Restaurant was named by Conde Nast Traveller in their "Top Fifty New Restaurants in the World 1999." and was rated as the city of sails finest until the building was sold and it closed in 2001.

In August 2007 the opportunity arose to obtain Berowra Waters Inn, an Australian dining icon located in an idyllic setting on the Hawkesbury River. After extensive renovation the restaurant re-opened to great critical acclaim in November 2007.

Dietmar is constantly in demand for Guest Chef appearances in Australia and overseas. He was also an inaugural member of Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel with 3 star Michelin chefs, Gordon Ramsay and George Blanc, New York's David Burke and San Francisco's Nancy Oakes.
A quality driven chef, Dietmar is passionate about the superiority and diversity of Australian produce. Often working alongside growers, Dietmar has assisted in the development of many new products which are now available on the Australian and international market.

Sawyere is fluent in three languages - English, German and French. While he is an avid reader and skis at every opportunity, his real passion continues to revolve around food - its creation, taste and design. His 900 plus library of cookbooks attest to that.