He looks like a rock star – and in the world of cruise cuisine, that’s exactly what he is.
But this weekend John Suley, described as Director of Culinary Operations for Celebrity Cruises and one of America’s leading chefs, was in Sydney manning a stall at a food market.
OK, Taste isn’t just any Saturday produce fair. It lasts four days and pulled in a huge crowd.
And his stall was Celebrity’s first attempt at taking its fine food message to where Australian foodies hang out.
But Centennial Park is a long way from Miami. So thankfully, the crowd was impressed and enthusiastic.
And why not? They got to try an unusual pairing of cocktail and cuisine. See if you can guess from our pictures which cocktail matched what food?
(Answers at the end of this piece).
John, who joined Celebrity three years ago after an illustrious career at the Ritz Carlton, Waldorf Astoria and the Gotham Bar and Grill, told Cruise Passenger he has become a big fan of Australian food and produce.
Before his demonstration, he was at Flemington Markets, where he was particularly impressed by the courgettes, egg plant, tomatoes and herbs.
“I love it here. I love the simplicity, the freshness and the healthy lifestyle and eating. The seafood is excellent and the fruit and vegetables are always great.”
He recommended Gastro Park in Kings Cross and China’s Town’s dim sim restaurants. He counts Aussie meat pies and sausage rolls as personal favourites.
Wherever he goes, he ensures Celebrity ships like Solstice is supplied with local produce and he serves up such Australian favourites as barramundi, lamb and grass-fed beef all over the world.
“And Lamingtons! I love Lamingtons. We have two chefs in our senior team, one from Melbourne and the other from the Gold Coast, so we always have great Australian food.”
Celebrity continued the cocktails-and-cuisine theme at Taste with a cocktail bar.
“We have 15 restaurants and each is different,” says John. “We are getting our message our there that dining on a cruise ship is as good as the best anywhere in the world.”
So could you guess?
Dish 1 – Scallops ceviche – lime, avocado puree, salsa and spiced popcorn
Cocktail: Daiquiri of lime, sugar and Bacardi Rum
Dish 2 – Pork rib
Cocktail: Whisky soar with Dewars and a head of egg white
Dish 3 – Home made truffle with grenache and sea salt
Cocktail: Espresso Martini
See John Suley in action at https://vimeo.com/20807491