Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The man who changed the Bayside food scene

Achim Herterich with a batch of freshly baked goodies at Kuche (above)

Achim Herterich has made a huge imprint on the foodie streetscape of Black Rock and Beaumaris. Clare Kennedy talks to him about his approach to food and his new venture, Kuche.

German-born chef and entrepreneur Achim Herterich is quietly transforming the foodscape of southern Bayside. After working as executive chef at Windows on the Bay in Mordialloc, he has embarked on a hectic series of food ventures. Since 2001 he counts six different endeavours. Many will know his face from his time running Beaumaris Pantry & Larder in The Concourse, which introduced great deli culture and good coffee to the area. He followed that up with Providorium in Balcombe Road, Black Rock, which provided a much needed boost to that pocket's cafe and deli offerings.

Inside Kuche (above) and celebrity actor, dancer and foodie Paul Mercurio recently ran a cooking class there (below)

Now Achim has recently opened shop-cum-kitchen Kuche Inspirational Food, a welcome haven for the weary home cook seeking a healthier alternative to the standard take-away options. He offers classy take-home meals, catering and cooking classes – all at the same Concourse venue.

Herterich, in chef’s whites and striped-blue apron, chops and saut├ęs in his gleaming white kitchen, as he chats to customers about the day’s offerings on colourful display: chicken and mushroom lasagna, pesto lamb fillets wrapped in proscuitto and oxtail ragout - to name a few.

“My philosophy always in cooking is that the eye comes first. Before you even taste it your eye already speaks. If your eye doesn’t like what it sees, your tastebuds will be reflecting on that,” he says.

Herterich at work (above)

At a recent cooking class Herterich whipped up prawn cutlets tossed in a piri-piri spice mixture, pan fried and served with linguine pasta, and a napoli-sauce with fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes. “The nice thing about it is you can create a meal in half an hour and have a really healthy nutritious meal, but very quickly made. That’s what people really want” he enthuses.

Herterich conducts most of the cooking classes himself around a sleek benchtop behind the counter (max 10-12 people) - with occasional guest-chefs. Master Patissiere Udo Eichelman recently demonstrated traditional European Christmas treats. At other Summer classes Herterich whipped up food for spring picnics and authentic country-style Italian meals. For those excited by a touch of glamour, local tv personality and keen cook Paul Mercurio was a recent guest-chef.

Herterich’s 25-year chef’s career includes a stint at the glamorous Drake Hotel, New York, and as executive-chef at Windows on the Bay, Mordialloc. He counts among the highlights being part of the Sheridan-sponsored team of chefs who won the 1992 Salon Culinaire Singapore world championships. His team’s winning entry included a carving of Captain Cook’s Endeavour, made from 150kg of chocolate.

Herterich’s latest venture is a perfect foil to Kuche Inspirational Wares, Herterich’s classy kitchen-wares shop, just over the road.

Kuche Inspirational Food, 19 South Concourse, Beaumaris, phone 9589 0900

Visit Kuche for food and classes at:


Anonymous said...

hi Kylie, fantastic article on Kuche.. I have done one of Achim's classes and it was fantastic.

What a fantastic website you have created..
hope to catch up soon
Lu ( max and bens mum!!)

Kylie said...

thanks Lu, I must say I'm a little inspired to take a class too!
- Kylie