P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel today added a few more chefs to its ranks, hosting more than 20 of the country’s leading executive chefs and industry partners for the announcement of the finalists for the inaugural Executive Chef of Year competition.
The culinary gathering was organised by P&O Cruises Corporate Executive Chef Uwe Stiefel, who was named as one of the 20 finalists, and Executive Chef’s Club founder Mel Nathan.
While onboard, the guest chefs were given a behind the scenes tour of Pacific Jewel’s main galley and treated to a long lunch in the ship’s Salt grill restaurant, before enjoying a spirited round table discussion about catering for special meals in today’s kitchens. Shaun Presland, formerly of Sake restaurants also provided a demonstration on kingfish preparation in conjunction with Hiramasa Kingfish.
Chef Stiefel said it was an honour to be named as one of the 20 finalists for the inaugural competition and to host his peers.
“It’s been a wonderful opportunity to show my fellow chefs a little of the work we do to deliver a great culinary experience at sea,” Chef Stiefel said.
“The special meals discussion is particularly relevant to the cruise industry so it was great to be able to share our experience and hear how other areas of the food industry are managing it as well.”
The Executive Chef of the Year competition is about success beyond the hands-on part of cooking. The first stage of competition required a brief statement outlining entrants’ credentials, which were judged at award-winning Chiswick Restaurant last week. The final round, during which finalists must develop an eight-course Spanish tapas-style ‘Evolution Menu’, will be judged in Melbourne by celebrity chef Scott Pickett of Estelle Bistro next month. The winner will receive a professional food tour of Spain, while two highly commended chefs will win a culinary odyssey to the Spencer Gulf, Australia’s seafood frontier.