Saskia Beer Fellowship - Aussie Chef returns with learnings from French foodies

27 Mar 2024

Saskia Beer Fellowship - Aussie Chef returns with learnings from French foodies featured image

Chef, food artisan and Churchill Fellow Sascha Randle has recently returned from an enriching culinary journey in France where she undertook a Fellowship to hone her skills in the traditional art of French charcuterie production. After spending four immersive weeks as a ‘stage’ in two premier French charcuterie houses, Sascha has returned with a wealth of knowledge and expertise, poised to elevate the craft of charcuterie in her culinary endeavours and in her hometown of Melbourne.

Sascha was awarded the first Saskia Beer Churchill Fellowship. A Fellowship awarded in honour of the late Saskia Beer – a food lover herself – and made possible through the generous sponsorship of Churchill Fellow Colin Beer and his wife Maggie.

The Saskia Beer Churchill Fellowship supports passionate food lovers like Saskia – be they cooks or chefs, farmers, growers, producers or entrepreneurs – to pursue innovative, artisanal, sustainable, regenerative, and community-focused approaches to food production.

“As a family, we were thrilled that the first Saskia Beer Churchill Fellowship went to Sascha Randle.” said Maggie.

“Colin’s Churchill Fellowship in 1978 was the springboard for our food journey when he travelled to overseas to study game bird breeding, the synergies with this award and Saskia’s work seemed so perfect. We hope this new Fellowship will open doors for new ideas, just like it did for us.” said Maggie.

During Sascha’s four weeks in France, she worked alongside industry greats Gilles Verot and Sebastien Zozoya in their renowned maisons in Paris and Bayonne. She absorbed invaluable insights, returning from her travels having enhanced her own culinary repertoire and ready to expand and enrich charcuterie practice in Australia.

“I believe it’s so important to retain the techniques of smallgoods making here in Australia, as currently there is no further charcuterie training for professional butchers in this country.” said Sascha.

From the humble beginnings of sitting in her grandparents’ butcher shop, watching her Opa make smallgoods, Sascha has gone on to work in some of Melbourne’s finest restaurants. Embracing the connection between cookery and butchery, Sascha has been instrumental creating the Meatsmith Kitchen range of ready meals, condiments, and charcuterie products.

“Sascha is already an established and well-respected food artisan, and the Churchill Trust is excited to see what she brings to the Melbourne food scene in the wake of her transformative Fellowship experience. Sascha Randle stands as a beacon of innovation and excellence in the culinary world, poised to redefine the boundaries of charcuterie craftsmanship in Australia.” said Winston Churchill CEO, Dr Rachael Coghlan.

See Sascha’s project here.

Earlier background story here.

For nearly 60 years, the Winston Churchill Trust has flown talented Australians around the globe to pursue their passion and bring their knowledge home. Churchill Fellows are people from all walks of life and all sectors; the arts, science, health, agriculture, and beyond. The breadth of topics for Churchill Fellowships are limitless. Thinking about applying for a Churchill Fellowship? Applications are now open and close 1 May 2024. 

About Sascha Randle

Melbourne based Sascha Randle has always had an emotional connection with food and enjoys the ritual of people coming together around food, and the sense of community it creates.

Her fondest food memories are of her grandparents’ continental butcher shop, watching her Opa making small goods sitting on a bucket in sawdust, with the smell of the in-house smoker. Then, of her Oma cooking and making meals with them in the kitchen, bringing friends and family together.

Sascha has been cooking for 25 years and did her tour of duty at some of Melbourne’s finest, including a career-defining move to work with Philippe Mouchel in the late 90s. This is where Sascha was inspired and learnt the basics of the making of French charcuterie, using similar techniques she saw with her Opa. Here, she discovered the connection between cookery and butchery.

After 10 years with Philippe, Sascha moved on to work for the Andrew McConnell group, opening Builders Arms Bistro in Fitzroy. After two years, Sascha went on to Epocha where she secured one hat in the good Food Guide and the AFR top 100 restaurants in Australia for two years running.

It was during her time at Builders Arms Hotel that she met Troy Wheeler, who would later open Meatsmith. It was when she started at Meatsmith that it came full circle between her childhood experience, professional cooking career, and passion for cookery and butchery. First, as head chef then production manager, helping to create the Meatsmith Kitchen range of ready meals, condiments, and charcuterie products.

Use the categories below to filter the search results: