As an Austrian, Hans Hickel always knew he wanted to be in the food world. After school he attended culinary school, graduating in 1963, and apprenticed in both the Hotel Europe and the Hotel Sacher, known for its Sacher Torte. He then moved to France as a cook at the Hotel Bellevue, followed by the Hotel Savoy in London. He moved to the Bahamas as sous chef, first at Loews Paradise Hotel, and then as executive chef at Paradise Island Resort for two years, and then Food and Beverage Director for another two years.
He moved to the United States in 1980 to be the executive chef at the Hyatt Regency in Pittsburgh, then Hyatt moved him to open new properties in Columbus, Austin, and in 1986 the Hyatt Regency Westshore in Tampa, as executive chef of all three of their restaurants, Armani’s, Petey Brown’s and Oystercatcher’s. It was at Oystercatcher’s in 1996 that Great Chefs caught up with Chef Hickel to tape him for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of America television series.
In 2007, Chef Hickel left Hyatt to form his own company, Global Gourmet Solutions, to bring
his own authentic Viennese Strudel line to culinary establishments along the east coast of America.