A chef from our four-star hotel is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime as he prepares for a sabbatical to cook for conservation workers in the Polar island of South Georgia in the Southern Ocean.
Jerome Viard, 27, who is originally from France but now living in Newmarket, will be cooking with another chef for a team of 20 for three months from January.
He is accompanying the group from the South Georgia Heritage Trust, which plans to rid the island of a huge population of Norway brown rats in what it calls a Habitat Restoration Project since the rodents are threatening the native bird population.
The island is a site of exceptional natural beauty and it aims to save these birds from extinction and increase by millions the numbers of endangered seabirds that live there.
Jerome said: “I cannot wait to go and be one of the few to visit that stunning remote place, see elephant seals, penguins and other sea birds in their natural habitat!”
South Georgia, gateway to the Antarctic for polar-exploring heroes such as Sir Ernest Shackleton, is 963 miles from the nearest land – The Falklands Islands – and 7,666 miles from Newmarket.
But it won’t be a piece of cake for the pastry chef and his kitchen colleague on the expedition. They are due to experience highly variable weather with temperatures in January, the summer, no higher than 8 degrees celcius.
He says their biggest challenge will be planning ahead since popping down to Sainsbury’s is not an option: “It is important to plan menus in advance to manage the amount of food needed to order and avoid shortage or wastage.
“Supply of food will be very limited with dry food coming all the way from the UK and some meat and dairy products from the Falkland Islands.”
He added: “I will be cooking for the crew every day for breakfast, lunch, afternoon break and dinner. Meals will be simple due to the limited resources and equipment but hearty since they will mostly spend the day outside in harsh weather conditions doing physical work.
“Breakfast will be mostly porridge, freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolat, yogurt, muesli and cured meat and fruit when available. There will be one fried breakfast a week.”
In addition to this they plan to serve up home-baked sausage rolls, sandwiches made from home-baked bread, Cornish pasties, soups, plus cakes and bakes.
Chief Executive of the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, Noel Byrne, said: “We wish Jerome well on this adventure and look forward to seeing him resuming his job with us when he returns in April 2015. He’s an excellent chef – those conservationists don’t know how lucky they are.”
Pictured is Jerome with some of his creations at the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa
For further information please contact Philippa Green at Mosaic Publicity on 01206 841933 or email or firstname.lastname@example.org