When you work the land, you can order vegetables, meat and fish every day. On a trip like this, most of our products are frozen — because we have no other choice.”
In January next year, Le Commandant Charcot will sail from Ushuaia in Argentina to Dunedin in New Zealand on a 28-night cruise in the Ross Sea. In February, it will sail from Dunedin to Ushuaia. Fare from $66,760 per person in a luxury room.
Loading supplies at Punta Arenas is another challenge: “When you’re in Paris, you’re used to working with certain products. In Chile, you can get similar products, but they’re not the same. So, you need to adapt.”
To increase the pressures, on the floor, you return home after the shift; On this ship, the chef and his crew live together. “I wouldn’t say it is easier or more difficult, but there is a difference. Because here I am also kind of a dad to the team.”
Then there is the weather challenge. “When we have a rough sea, the work is really hard, but you get used to it little by little,” Moch says.
Rough Seas reminds pastry chef Julian Arnaud of the event that put him on the road to Le Commandant Charcot. A lawyer by training, he was working for a logistics company in Tokyo when the Fukushima earthquake hit in 2011.
He’s used to Japan earthquakes, but most of them were “like, 10 seconds, max. This was two minutes that wasn’t final, you have no idea, you have time to think about your life, what you’re going to do. That’s when you decided to focus on pastry.”
When Australian Financial Journal Lug, the tattooed father of two, 48, has been on the ship for two months and has described the first weeks as “extremely intense and difficult”.
You can not tell. Arnaud and his assistants offer an array of madeleines, lemon meringues, chocolate batters, panna cottas, Belgian waffles, cheesecakes, creme brules, Parisian waffles, brownies, etc.—each of which is easily the best of its kind I have tasted.
What does he prefer? Lemon meringue, “Because this is the first dessert I made for the woman who became my wife. That’s how I got it. And before I came aboard, I made one.”
The writer traveled as a guest on Ponant.
The July issue of AFR Magazine – Culinary Issue – comes out on Friday 24th June Inside Australian Financial Audit. Follow AFR Mag on Twitter and Instagram.