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[expat] German chef offers philosophical recipe for life
Latest Updated by 2006-06-13 08:33:07

HAILING from a land that has produced thinkers like Schopenhauer and Hegel, Gunter Angerman, 49, is a chef who reads Socrates and plays golf.

Before joining the five-star Marcopolo Hotel in Shenzhen as the executive chef earlier this year, Angerman had worked in neighboring Hong Kong for the past 15 years.

Angerman started to train as a chef in Germany at the age of 14, a time when jobs were abundant and young hands were sought after. After three years as an apprentice learning cooking theories at a vocational school in the town of Ludwigshafen, young Angerman began to work with the Hilton Hotel Group, first in Munich, then in London.

"It's not a very happy experience there, but I picked up English," the chef said. And that's his first stop abroad. "What happens in life never follows the direction you originally plans," he said, "but I've learned to enjoy simple things."

Angerman said the most exciting part of his career is that he gets to work abroad and travel extensively. But the long working hours - even on weekends and holidays - have cost him a more romantic personal life. "In the catering industry, your partner needs to make allowances for your absence." But Angerman is happy about his bachelor lifestyle. "Whether or not you are married, there is regret," he quoted Socrates' wisdom.

He spent five years working in Switzerland and returned to Germany for another year to study business skills in Heidelburg.

Remembering the years in Hong Kong, he said he "made great friends and lived in a big family." But he left after the Hyatt Regency Hotel building was pulled down to make way for a new office block.

Besides his professional interest in "Rick Stein's Food Heroes," a televised cooking show, Angerman's favorite pastimes are reading, playing golf, and traveling.

"Once in the early 1980s, I and a friend hitchhiked all the way from New York to Los Angeles. We slept in sleeping bags at roadside sometimes and watched the sun rise from the horizon. It was beautiful."

Asked about his plans for the near future, Angerman said he wanted to be happy with the present job and work hard.

"It's unwise to chase after money," he joked, "I've got two legs and money has got four wheels. When a person has earned US$1 million, he may want 10 million. The endless chase will become a burden that stops a person from enjoying life."

Editor: Wing

By: Source:Szdaily web edition
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