Sigmund J├Ârgensen




Son of Montsalvat's founder, he is a noted Melbourne restauranteur in his own right.

Sigmund, the youngest son of Justus Jörgensen, was born and raised within the artistic family of Montsalvat, educated locally and then attended Melbourne University. 

At the University he became involved in student theatre and went on to direct a number of festivals. In 1963 he became director of drama for the National Union of Australian University Students. 

In 1964 after a stint with the Elizabethan Theatre Trust where he worked for both the Opera and Ballet Companies he was invited lead the tour of a student theatre delegation to several European Drama Festivals after which he spent many years working in the professional theatre in London. 

In 1969 Sigmund returned to be director of Montsalvat, a position he held for the next thirty six years. 

He developed a range of commercial activities which were used to subsidise the artistic activities. These included festivals, concerts, exhibitions, studios and workshops where artists could work and teach. By refurbishing some of the buildings he was able to create the exhibition spaces that are available for use today. 

In 1977 he founded Clichy Restaurant in Collingwood and with partner Iain Hewitson helped change the eating habits of Melbourne with a new and innovative approach. The sub-text of the restaurant was ‘original food in the French manner’ and was inspired by the latest developments in Europe. Clichy became known as a place of innovation and creativity – along with Iain’s food came a great wine list collected by Sigmund which featured the wines of Victoria – a first for Melbourne. Sigmund ran Clichy for ten years, during which time it received many accolades – including three hats in The Age Good Food Guide, restaurant of the decade and also it was named as one of the five most influential restaurants in the second half of the twentieth century. 

For several years Sigmund turned his hand to food consultancy, writing and criticism and was appointed a judge for the Asian Food Festival for several years. 

In the 1980’s he founded and hosted the highly acclaimed Montsalvat International Jazz Festivals which featured some of the finest jazz performers in the world including exclusive appearances by McCoy Tyner, Nat Adderley and many others from across the world. 

In the late nineties he became increasingly involved in community affairs and helped found the local tourism organisations. He ran for State Parliament and went on to become a local councillor and then Mayor of the Shire of Nillumbik. 

In 2005 he was appointed a Director to the newly formed Montsalvat Ltd and became Montsalvat’s Arts & Heritage Advisor. 

< Back