Hans Schadler was born on a large farm outside Hanau, east of Frankfurt, Germany in 1943, in the middle of WW II. His father managed an estate-owned farm and his mother was a professional cook. He and his two sisters worked in her restaurant after school.
At age 14, he went to Frankfurt to apprentice for M. Junghans, a hotel/restaurant group that ran the London Savoy Hotel and the Opera Restaurant in Frankfurt am Main, and young Hans learned the different aspects of preparing fine food and running a restaurant. He ventured out and worked at various places, traveling a circuit that included Alpine restaurants in the winter and resorts on Lake Geneva in the summer.
After graduating in 1961, he landed a job through the state culinary union, at the Hotel Bristol in Oslo, Norway. After the first year, he was appointed chef of the Grill Room. One of the hotel guests, a sea captain, asked if he might be interested in working on a cruise ship. At age 17, Chef Schadler went to work for the Norwegian Cruise Line. Five and a half years later, he moved to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands to work with a friend who owned a small luxury hotel. That didn’t work out, but he was hired by Rockefeller’s Resorts to run the kitchen at nearby Caneel Bay Resort on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1974 he opened their Woodstock Inn in Vermont.
In 1982, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation contacted him to help plan President Reagan’s Economic Summit in 1983. He fell in love with it, and moved there. In 1987, President Reagan offered him the White House Chef job, but he didn’t feel it was right for him, so he turned it down. In 1992, the Great Chefs television team showed up in Williamsburg to tape Chef Schadler for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the East television series, where he appeared in episodes 10 and 15.
In 1996, he left Williamsburg to help Caneel Bay rebuild after a hurricane, but returned to Colonial Williamsburg in 2002 and stayed until he retired in 2008. Those years included Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 2007 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown.
In 2012, he couldn’t stay retired any longer, so he and his wife Liv, and daughter, Tina, opened the Waypoint Grill, where he remains today in 2016.