Franz Girbl attended culinary school in Salzburg, Austria, then apprenticed at the Hotel Trois Couronne in Vevey, Switzerland. Working his way up the culinary ladder, he went to Oslo, Norway to work as chef de partie at the Restaurant Dronningen, then down to Johannesburg, South Africa at the Hotel Tollmann’s Tower. Later, while still in Africa, he was appointed as sous chef in the Casino Hotel in Swaziland. He then took another job as sous chef at the Hotel La Toc in the Caribbean’s island of St Lucia.
In the late 1970s, Holiday Inn hired him as executive chef for their property in Hong Kong, later moving him to Penang, Malaysia as executive chef. In 1981, he returned to Salzburg, Austria as executive chef and commercial director for the Hotel Schloss Monchstein, and his restaurant, Paris-London. In 1998, the Great Chefs television crew arrived in Salzburg to tape Chef Franz Girbl at his restaurant for Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the World television series, and for Austria’s ORF-TV, Great Chefs of Austria series.