CELEBRITY chef Kevin Woodford arrived in Belfast this week to take his partnership with leading ferry company Stena Line onto its next course.
Woodford, who has featured as one of the celebrity chefs on ITV’s This Morning with presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, has been working with the ferry company since May across all five of its Irish Sea routes – Belfast to Cairnryan, Belfast to Liverpool, Dublin Port to Holyhead, Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead and Rosslare to Fishguard.
The Liverpudlian chef has now set up a dedicated offshore teaching kitchen at Belfast’s Metropolitan College to fine-tune the culinary skills of the Stena Line team and share his vast experience.
“I believe the chefs on Stena Line have a really good product and I want to find ways of tweaking and fine tuning it,” said Kevin.
“I see great passion in these guys which I want to ensure is reflected in the dishes they serve to their thousands of passengers who sail with Stena Line on a daily basis.
“Some of the team have never had experience of working outside the ship so I think I can bring certain skills to those individuals to enhance the great work they are already doing,” he added.
The culinary partnership with Woodford was set up as part of Stena Line’s plan to develop its onboard food offering for customers and comes on the back of company research which shows that quality food provision scores consistently in the ‘Top 5’ requirements of an enjoyable ferry travel experience as Jamie Christon, Stena Line’s route director for central corridor and head of onboard support services for the UK and Ireland, explains.
“Food is a very important part of our overall customer service experience. In recent years we have invested hundreds of millions of pounds throughout the Irish Sea in our ships and ports and it’s important that our food proposition keeps pace with this development,” said Jamie.
“Kevin has been working with our chefs over the past month, travelling on each of our ships on the Irish Sea and has developed a great understanding of what we need to do to take our food offering to a higher level.
“Our chefs are really enjoying the experience, not just because of Kevin’s obvious talent as a chef but also his infectious enthusiasm and inspiration when it comes to food preparation and delivery,” he continued.
“We’re very excited to reveal the results of this culinary partnership in the coming weeks, onboard all of our ships on the Irish Sea,” Jamie added.
Stena Line’s target is to have a new standardised menu for the Irish Sea routes by early summer.