Star chef becomes a doctor

Max Fischer
Max Fischer
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Chef Max Fischer is one of an elite handful to earn a coveted Michelin star – and hold on to it for nearly 20 years. His Baslow restaurant is ranked among the best in the country.

Next month he will add a new accolade to his list of accomplishments, when he accepts an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.

“I’m shocked and absolutely delighted by this award,” he said. “I think that constant interest in furthering the profession and encouraging the youngsters is what this is all about.”

Max, 62, was born in West Germany and left school at 16 to become an apprentice chef.

He learned his art in some of the most famous gastronomic hotels in the world, broadening his experience in Paris and then at the Bell Inn, Aston Clinton, where he met wife Susan.

He returned to Germany as head chef of the Schlosshotel Kronberg, where he cooked for royalty, politicians and celebrities on a daily basis.

But Max had always wanted his own restaurant and in 1980 he returned to England and took over a small café in Bakewell. It was soon acclaimed by food critics nationwide and in 1989 he moved Fischer’s to nearby Baslow Hall, creating a restaurant with rooms.

Max won his first Michelin Star in 1994 and has retained it ever since. He still works alongside his chefs at Fischer’s and gastro-pub Rowleys, though the kitchen is now run by head chef Rupert Rowley.

Hallam University has announced a number of other honorary doctorates including Sheffield-based Olympic silver medallist Leon Taylor; Paralympian Karen Darke; champion of local voluntary action Kevin Curley; Chail Patel CBE, doctor and star of Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire.

They join other honorary doctors already announced: James North-Hearn, Corin Mellor and Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon.


Rupert Rowley, head chef at Fischer’s, Baslow Hall, was a surprise guest at Eat Sheffield’s Young Chef of the Year competition at Hallam University yesterday (Wednesday).

He was on hand as a mentor to the three finalists: Drew Snaith of Fancie, Sebastian Rosh-Wood of Graze Inn and Alfie Olinski of the Losehill House Hotel, Hope.

Results will be announced during a gala awards dinner at the university on Monday.