February 12 2014  |  Catering

Chef Mark Best joins HAL Culinary Council

By Rick Lundstrom

Australian Chef Mark Best was recently welcomed to Holland America Line’s Culinary Council at an event on ms Amsterdam during the ship's call in Sydney during its 115-day Grand World Voyage.

Best will join Holland America Line's Master Chef and Council Chairman Rudi Sodamin, and prominent international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner and Jacques Torres on the Culinary Council.

Best will add a selection of his French-inspired signature dishes to the line's menus and work with Sodamin and other council members to shape the culinary direction aboard Holland America Line's fleet.

"With our increased presence in Australia, it's exciting to welcome to the Culinary Council an accomplished chef like Mark who has made headlines locally as well as internationally," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. "Mark is known for his innovative Australian cuisine and we look forward to seeing his passionate influence on our menus and introducing his flair and originality to our guests."

"The Culinary Council is a collaboration of some of the greatest international chefs, and Mark brings imaginative ideas from a part of the world that is very inventive with cuisine," said Sodamin.

Best found his passion for French food during an apprenticeship at the Macleay Street Bistro in Potts Point, New South Wales, Australia, in 1990. While there he was awarded the Josephine Pignolet Award for best young chef in New South Wales.

Best has worked overseas at famous French restaurants, including Alain Passard's three-Michelin-star L'Arpege in Paris, France, and Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons in Oxford, England. He leaned on these experiences with classic French culinary preparation and matched them with his own innovation to become the face of new Australian cuisine.  He returned to Australia in 1999 and opened Marque in Sydney's Surry Hills.

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