Who Is Herb?
Who Is Herb?
Herb was born on New Year’s Day of 1975 in Bunbury, Western Australia, to German dad, Hans, and late Thai mother, Ratana.
Herb’s mother was heavily involved with the Buddhist Society of WA and so most weekends the family would visit the temple or monastery to offer food to the monks. As is customary, once the monks had received their offerings, those who offered food would share the remainder amongst them. “There was always an amazing array of authentic Thai food on offer,” Herb recalls, “and I still fondly remember the incredible aromas and tastes.”
Herb believes these memories formed the beginnings of his appreciation and passion for food, and of noticing how taking the time to share a meal really brings people together. Herb says, “There was, and still is, a great sense of community within the Buddhist Society that I am grateful for having grown up in and I still visit the monastery from time to time to share the experience with my family, and take a quiet moment to reflect, and remember my mother and brother.”
Having grown up with Thai food, Herb developed a love and appreciation of the philosophy behind it. He has always been fascinated by the fresh, seasonal ingredients which provide such a delicate balance of flavours, but that also require strong technique to execute. It’s an approach that has always inspired him in his cooking.
Herb first entered the hospitality industry in 1994 at Wildwood Brasserie in Yallingup, where he lived on the premises refining his craft, and spending his spare time pursuing his other passions of skating and surfing. On returning to Perth in 1995, he joined the team at E’Cucina restaurant in Perth city, where he stayed until completing his chef’s apprenticeship in 1998. He spent the following 5 years working in a wide variety of restaurants across Australia ranging in style from modern Italian, Latin American and contemporary Australian cuisines, to cafés and brasseries, as well as in unique roles such as catering for Kerry Packer on his polo ranch in Ellerston. In 2003, he poetically returned to E’Cucina as their head chef, where he ran the kitchen for two years.
In April 2005, Herb had the opportunity to take on the very different role of head chef at Scotch College. There, he enjoyed working as part of a large team catering for some 150 boarders, plus staff members, as well as preparing restaurant quality food for numerous functions. It was a role that allowed him to continue his passion for delivering top quality, fresh and healthy food, while enjoying more ‘social’ working hours, which enabled him to spend more quality time with his young family.
In 2010, Herb was presented with the once in a lifetime chance to appear in the Australian version of the cult television cooking show, Iron Chef. With the backing of Scotch College’s then Catering Manager, Brett Barrett, and successful chef and restaurateur, Michael Forde, he went on to be the only contestant in the series to defeat an Iron Chef.
The Iron Chef win was an absolute highlight in Herb’s career, reigniting his passion for producing innovative food, and awakening a desire to share his creations with a wider audience. And so, in 2011, he took a leap of faith, resigning from Scotch College and launching his own catering business, Herb Faust Food.
Click here to find out more about Herb Faust Food.