Twentieth Century Cellini
Viktor Hatschier's appointment as manager of the Harvard Faculty Club last October is the most recent episode of a story-book career that compares with Benvenuto Cellini's "Autobiography" for variety and excitement. Like the versatile hero of the Renaissance, Hatschier is an artist, nobleman, soldier, adventurer, and writer. His art is the preparation of fine foods, but his career as an internationally known restaurateur has been spiced with dabblings in many other fields.
Born in Vienna, the son of a wealthy, titled Austrian steel manufacturer, Hatschier graduated from a technical high school, hoping to become an electrical engineer. As a result of World War I, his family's fortune was wiped out, and success in the engineering field became almost impossible.
Upon the suggestion of a friend, Hatschier decided to enter hotel work; he went to Lausanne, Switzerland, to study at the Academic Hoteliere. Following his graduation in 1924, he served in some of the best known hosteleries all over the world.
While working at the Hotel Savoy in London, he met a young pilot, who convinced him to fly for Imperial Airways on its pioneering transcontinental flights. He piloted old De Hanvilland planes to such remote spots as Karachi, Bombay, Calcutta, Baghdad, and Demascus.
After a short visit to Arabia where he met Ibs Sand, Count von Hatschier (Viktor Hatschier's rightful title when he wants to use it) went to India. While in Madras, he built a hotel and gatuexed enough information to write "Tower of Silence," a novel about British imperialism.
When he tired of India, Hatschier decided to ship off to Rio de Janciro. In order to learn Portuguese, an essential for hotel managers in Brazil, he took a job as an overseers on a sugar caue plantation. One night, he encountered a drunk stranger and helped him to bed. The man turned out to be the owner a large claim of South American hotels, who, in appreciation of Hatschier's kindness, made him manager of the Plazza Hotel-in Bucnos Aires.
Always driven by Wanderlust, Hatschier came to the U. S. in 1936. After jobs in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, he served with the U. S. airforce as a captain in intelligence during World War II. His service carried him back to Europe, behind enemy lines, where he had ample opportunity to use several of the eight languages he speaks fluently.
Looking at Viktor Hatschier, there can be doubt that his exciting life has agreed with him. Handsome and youthful in appearance, the twinkle in his eye suggests that he is far from ready to end his colorful career which, he admits, "sounds like something you'd never believe if you saw it in the movies."