Holland America Line announced the addition of Australian Chef Mark Best as the newest member of the line’s esteemed Culinary Council. Celebrated as one of the most innovative chefs in the world today, Best was welcomed to the group at an event on ms Amsterdam during the ship’s call in Sydney, Australia, while sailing on 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 Rudi Sodamin, chairman of the Culinary Council and Holland America Line's culinary consultant. "Mark has great energy and creativity and our guests are really going to enjoy his dishes."
After an unconventional path toward a culinary career, 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 enjoyed stints working overseas in some of the world’s most famous French restaurants, including Alain Passard’s three-Michelin-star L’Arpége 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 and intelligent recipe development to become the face of new Australian cuisine as he returned to Australia in 1999 and opened Marque in Sydney’s Surry Hills.
Heralded by restaurant critics from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and around the world, Marque received the U.K. Restaurant Magazine’s World's 50 Best Restaurants “Breakthrough Award” in 2010 and ranks among the San Pellegrino World Top 100 Restaurants. Marque was named 2011 restaurant of the year by the Sydney Morning Herald’s “The Good Food Guide” and won the 2012 Australian Gourmet Traveller restaurant of the year award.
For a decade Marque has held a prestigious Three Hats — the highest of the iconic symbols awarded by “The Good Food Guide” — as well as the maximum of three stars from Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine in its annual top 100 list. Best has published a cookbook, “Marque: A Culinary Adventure,” and also has appeared on the television show “MasterChef Australia” as a guest chef and judge.
Holland America Line introduced the Culinary Council in 2010. In addition to providing expert guidance, advice and knowledge regarding onboard menus and culinary offerings, the Council works with the line’s offerings in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine, to bring new and engaging learning experiences to guests.