Every year, the award is given to an influential individual who has constantly striven for higher standards and whose visionary ideas and contributions have led to the growth of excellence in the food and beverage industry.
In 2009, Schuetzenberger was the first pastry chef inducted into the WGS Awards of Excellence Hall of Fame for his enduring contribution to the hospitality industry, having also been awarded the title of Pastry Chef of the Year in 2004, 2006 and 2008. “The recognition is a reflection of how my peers and the industry view me, so it really is the greatest honour,” said Schuetzenberger.
Schuetzenberger is no stranger to awards, having received accolades throughout his career. Most recently, he was awarded the Silver Cross of Merit of the Republic of Austria (Silberne Verdienstzeichen der Republik Österreich) by the Austrian Government. He has participated with regional and national teams to win numerous culinary awards at international exhibitions and competitions, most notably the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany; Food & Hotel
Asia in Singapore; the American Culinary Classic in Chicago, USA; and the Salon Culinaire Mondial at Igeho in Basel. Schuetzenberger is also an appointed jury member of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and has judged at prestigious competitions at Expogast in Luxembourg; the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany; Food & Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge in Singapore; and the Hong Kong International Culinary Classic.
Schuetzenberger was born with a love for pastry in his blood and starting baking at the tender age of four. His grandfather founded a bakery in Koenigswiesen, Austria—a mantle that was handed down to his father and would have naturally been handed down again to Schuetzenberger junior, had he not been invited to work in Asia. Schuetzenberger obtained a Masters Degree in Pastry in Sankt Pölten, before commencing his Hyatt career in 1983 as the Pastry Chef at Grand Hyatt Seoul.
He arrived in Singapore 27 years ago as the Executive Pastry Chef of Grand Hyatt Singapore and next year marks Schuetzenberger’s 30th year with Hyatt. Over the decades, he has been involved in the opening of over 40 hotels and has worked in 27 different countries, in every continent except Antarctica. Needless to say, he has baked for many an illustrious name, from Pope John Paul II to the 35 heads of state at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. When he made fruitcake for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in Korea, she liked it so much, she brought some back to Buckingham Palace for her personal chefs to sample. He has pioneered innumerable desserts and was one of the first to combine chocolate with olive oil and sea-salt, a dessert that has been often imitated around the world. He was also one of the first to introduce flowing chocolate fountains at Grand Hyatt Singapore, a concept that has been copied at countless dessert buffets since.
“Chef Schuetzenberger has led the way in the field of pâtisserie and is a legend in the culinary industry,” says Larry Tchou, managing director for Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. “His dedications to his craft and his passion for continually crafting new pastry creations have put him in a league of his own. Not only is he highly respected in the field, he is a great inspiration to his peers, having nurtured, guided, advised and mentored countless numbers of our existing and future talent. This award is testimony to his ongoing devotion and hard work and it goes without saying that we consider ourselves most fortunate to have him as part of the Hyatt family.”