Werner Rott is an Austrian Chef/Restaurateur with a wealth of experience behind him. After leaving his home in St Valentine, Austria, he was trained at the prestigious ‘Hotel Schloss Fuschl’ in Salzburg. From there he moved on to work in several European 4 & 5 star hotels in various locations before working at the ‘Hotel Schloss Pontresina’ in Switzerland, the ‘Hotel Bad Schachen in Germany and the ‘Grande Hotel du Parc’ near Montreaux in Switzerland.
In 1976 he moved to Torquay, England and became chef entrémetier at the Osborne Hotel. Following this he worked for a short spell in a Swiss restaurant in Soho and a beautiful French Restaurant in Surrey. Upon his return to Torquay, Werner became involved in the running and organisation of several restaurants and as a result became a partner in the ‘Quartet’ restaurant in Babbacombe for 2 ½ years. After the sale of the ‘Quartet’ he managed ‘Papa Dino’s’ in Babbacombe road, Torquay for the period leading up to the time when he was eventually able to purchase his own restaurant.
Werner opened his first restaurant in Lisburne Square, Torquay in 1981 where he built up a loyal clientele of regular customers who loved both the food and cosy atmosphere. During that time he also ran an outside catering company ‘Lisburne Square Outside Catering Services’, and a café in a local market square.
The 1989 recession took its toll and the ‘The Old Vienna’ ceased trading in 1991. In the years following Werner became Head chef at ‘The Farm House Tavern’ and then spent 6 months working in a high class restaurant in Kent. He then started another business in the small village of Abbotskerswell, South Devon opposite an already established pub. This was named ‘Werner’s Restaurant’ and continued a similar theme to the ‘Old Vienna’ and retaining the majority of the previous clientele.
In 1999 Werner bought back the Old Vienna Premises and converted it from the dilapidated Thai Restaurant it had become back to its former glory. Here he enjoyed four years of successful trade before taking on a new venture, ‘Creations Café’ in a leased 17th century manor house in a 450 acre country park in Cockington, Torquay. Over a five year period he transformed the cockington court cafe from a loss making failure to a thriving enterprise with a turnover in excess of £200,000 employing many local people.
When the lease expired he felt a change was in order and moved to the country to take over a beautiful rural pub called the Fortescue Arms in the picturesque village of East Allington, Totnes. Half the building was kept as a traditional old fashioned local pub with stone floor, real fire and real ales. The other side was renovated and turned into a fine dining area serving high quality cuisine made from locally sourced seasonal produce which really put East Allington on the map.
Now in 2011 and in search of a new project, Werner is Returning to Lisburne Square in Torquay once again to re-open The Old Vienna Restaurant right next door to where it used to be and looks forward to welcoming guests both old and new to this unique continental dining experience.