Updated: Sep 14
Customer in the Spotlight: Gabriel Gaté.
In Gabriel Gaté’s 50 years as a chef, he has gone from French kitchens to Australian national television, still remembering first moving to Melbourne where “straight away, I discovered Glenferrie Road”.
Gabriel comes from the Loire Valley in France, where he undertook his chef’s apprenticeship in one of the best restaurants of the western French region. It is typical in France to cook with food sourced from the local region and so Gabriel utilised the berries, vegetables, salmon, and all fresh ingredients often directly from local farmers. When his apprenticeship was complete, Gabriel lived and worked for several years in France, England, and Germany.
In 1976, Gabriel met his wife, Angie, an Australian living and studying French in Paris. A year later, when Gabriel was 22, the couple decided to move to Australia where they lived in Adelaide. Having already been working as a chef for six years prior to moving, upon settling Gabriel started his own freelancing business which included cooking for private parties, writing about food, and becoming involved in the media via television and radio.
In France, people tend to learn about cooking from their family, oral traditions passed down through generations. When arriving in Australia, Gabriel soon realised that Australians wanted written recipes. Gabriel has since authored 24 cookbooks covering an array of styles, topics, and cuisines.
In 1981, Angie and Gabriel moved to Melbourne to be closer to Angie’s family who lived in Hawthorn. Initially the couple moved to Richmond, then Mont Albert, and eventually to Surrey Hills where they have lived for the past 35 years.
From 1991 until 2000, Gabriel ran Gabriel Gaté Cookery Centre on Burwood Road which sold quality cookware and hosted cooking classes. Connecting him with the Glenferrie area, he remembers all the great greengrocers and his favourite still, the always dependable Continental Deli.
For the last 20 years, Gabriel has continued his freelance work and involvement in television, including producing and hosting SBS’s Taste Le Tour for 15 years. After such a successful career, Gabriel recognises the need to step back and make room for new up-and-coming chefs. Still cooking for himself and his family, he also enjoys cycling, yoga, supporting the Hawthorn Hawks, and spending time with his family including his two sons and four grandchildren.
Despite ending Taste Le Tour last year, with his cooking Gabriel continues to “always experiment and try something new”. He often frequents The Leaf Store for fresh and quality ingredients, Miss Gourmet & Co. for the best chocolate and their good turnover in selection, and the new Coles Local. Not just out in Glenferrie for ingredients, Gabriel can also be found shopping at Poloman and Readings, as well as enjoying the pastries from Laurent Bakery or dinner at Vaporetto.
Gabriel appreciates that Hawthorn is a privileged and fabulous suburb and he will continue to take advantage of all there is on offer, as “it’s a good place to be”.