February 19, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 240 days
It’s really great to hear that so many of you are watching us on our circumnavigations so thank you yet again for logging on. While all of us on Queen Victoria are enjoying two days in Sydney at the end of the third leg of her third World Voyage, I thought we would dedicate this Blog to those signature events that have become synonymous with a Cunard World Voyage.
One of the highlights of every World Voyage is when the whole Queen Victoria Culinary Team are invited to show off their talents and skills to produce some outstanding and breathtaking culinary delights. On display this year were fruit and vegetable carvings, bread show pieces as well as plated entrées and desserts. It’s amazing how each year they seem to outdo themselves, and this year the event certainly produced that true wow factor. Out of the 125 Chefs on board 80 let their passion and skills run wild on some inspired masterpieces.
The event on 12 February, called “Chef’s Salon Culinaire”, was a highlight for the Culinary Team who really seemed to get a buzz out of the whole show. It also gave our guest’s and Chef’s the opportunity to interact and share experiences. Guests told me they enjoyed being able to praise the chefs all for all their talent and hard work, not only at this magnificent event, but throughout the voyage.
There were five categories and guests were invited to vote on their favourite display in each one. The amount of work that went in to each individual display was incredible, such as the winner of the Fruit and Vegetable Carving category by Chef de Partie, Bobby Cadiac,
There were many incredible pieces of artwork and you could hardly believe they were all edible. But they were, and very tempting, especially the winner of the Pastry Show Piece category by Chef de Partie Pastry, Antonio Cardozo.
After all the votes were counted, a very proud Executive Chef, Nicholas Oldroyd, announced the winners and awarded the prizes which included a selection of base ball caps, Queen Victoria sweat shirts and teddy bears, photo frames and albums. Then it was time for a group photo of all the winners:
They are from left to right:
Roger Barerra, Chef De Cuisine, Lido Galley
Nicholas Oldroyd, Executive Chef
Isgani Prado, Sous Chef and winner of the Plated Entree Hot and Cold category
Romualdo Rebello, Executive Pastry Chef
Movillon Gaudioso, Chef De Partie and winner of the Cold Larder Display category
Eric Yoong, Chef De Cuisine, Grills Restaurant Galley
Catalino Pajie, Queen Victoria Food Artist
James Abilash, Executive Sous Chef
Bobby Cadiac, Chef De Partie and winner of the Fruit and Vegetable Carving category
Antonio Cardozo, Chef De Partie and Winner of the Pastry Show Piece and Plated Dessert categories
I asked Nick after the event what he thought of the day:
“I would like to congratulate all my Chef’s of the Queen Victoria Culinary Team for their inspiration, creativity, sheer determination and drive for making the magic come alive on their special day. It was certainly a memorable and legendary event and it was so rewarding to see that the guest appreciation was incredible with so many compliments and praise for the Chefs work. In my eyes all of my Chef’s are winners and I am so proud to be in charge of such a talented and amazing team.”
Thanks Nick for creating such a memorable day, I can’t think how they’ll top it next year, but I have a feeling they will!
Valentine’s Day is always very special as you can see from the celebrations on Queen Victoria last year, by clicking on this link:
We continued the tradition this year of guests’ Valentines messages on a special insert in the Daily Programme, with the guest donating the most to our World Voyage Charities, having their dedication on the front page of the Daily Programme.
This year a marvelous $423 was added to our fund raising efforts. Lots of other special Valentines activities took place during the day with the traditional Valentines Ball in the evening. Another tradition we continued, was that every lady was presented with a rose from our White Star Bellboys as they entered each restaurant and what an elegant sight they were:
Meanwhile, a new World Voyage tradition for Queen Victoria started soon after we left San Francisco. A guest approached me and asked if we could advertise an interest corner for Choral Singers. ‘Of course’, I said and asked Nick Wilkes of the Entertainment Staff and Vincent Wolfe, our Queens Room Vocalist, to go along and look after them. Nick takes up the story:
“When Vincent Wolfe and I were given the task of looking after a group of Choral enthusiasts, we weren’t quite expecting what turned out to be a fun activity. On the first day after putting together a selection of songs for the guests to sing, we arrived at Hemispheres with 25 song sheets, thinking they may appreciate some prepared music. As we arrived, so did the guests and they kept arriving until we had a room full of 76 enthusiastic singers. We quickly photocopied extra sheets and the guest choir was born. We were lucky to be graced with the wonderful talents of Dustin Turner on Piano who supported in true style. Five rehearsals were scheduled and then there was talk of a concert to be performed for fellow guests in the Grand Lobby. It was soon evident that the choir was far too popular to hold the concert in the Grand Lobby so the venue was moved to the Queens Room and eventually the Royal Court Theatre. Seven songs were performed which included favourites such as “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” “Edelweiss,” You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and “Love Changes Everything.” The theatre was packed and the first Queen Victoria Guest Choir received a standing ovation with much applause. On a whole it was a great experiment which I would gladly undertake again!”
Nick did a great job and found a new talent; he turned out to be a great conductor! After the concert the newly formed Guest Choir gathered in the Grand Lobby for a group photograph, and couldn’t help breaking in to song again with an impromptu rendition of the very appropriate “We Are Sailing”!
There’ll be lots more news coming very soon, including some pictures on Monday from Queen Elizabeth in Italy, as well as other stories from the Cunard World. Cheers for now, Alastair