Walter was born in Oberwart, Austria. Influenced by his mum’s delicious home-made desserts, Walter followed his passion and became an apprentice pastry chef. He did his apprenticeship in four years at a coffee shop prior to an eight-month stint in the army. After completing his military service, he found seasonal work in a series of hotels as a pastry chef for the next three years.
Walter emigrated to New Zealand at age 24 to improve his English language skills, and never looked back. He started his career working for a large hotel chain near the Waitomo Caves, and then he found his dream job working at Chateau Tongariro Hotel in Mt. Ruapehu for five years as the head pastry chef. He had a series of professional pastry chef jobs over the years, settled into life in New Zealand, married and had two children.
Remarkably Walter’s accomplishments were achieved despite the fact that he was born with a congenital visual impairment that has diminished his sight over the past 25 years. Walter connected with Attainable Trust through the Blind Foundation while looking for a job. He met with our Chairman (Murray Clark) seeking employment in our factory, however, Murray had other ideas for Walter. Murray observed that many of our people purchased unhealthy meal options during lunch, and he thought it would be a good use of Walter’s talents to feed our people two healthy meals daily. This also coincided with some of the life skills we teach our people around healthy meal options. A match made in heaven.
Despite his disability, Walter maintains full control in our kitchen. In addition to feeding our people morning tea and lunch, he also manages the commercial side making breads and buns for restaurants, catering various functions, supplying lasagnes to Deejays for schools, and as requested making prepared meals for our families and caregivers. He still makes delicious cakes and pastries for special occasions. Walter has been employed with us for over three years and he is respected and admired for his dedication, skill, and willingness to be a mentor to some of the younger Chefs. Thank you Walter.