A Minute on the Clock – Kevin Woodford

13 September 2012 by
A Minute on the Clock – Kevin Woodford

Celebrity chef Kevin Woodford talks to Tom Vaughan about helping Stena Line overhaul the food offering on its ferries, with his new menu now available on six of its Irish Sea routes

How did the partnership with Stena come about? It came through a cold call to my agent asking if I'd be interested in looking at what they are doing aboard Stena ferries. At first I thought it wasn't really my thing, as ferries aren't synonymous with quality food. But I spent a week travelling on some of their ferries and was blown away by the refurbishments they have made on them.

What needed changing about the food offer? I looked at the food and it was OK, but it was also time for a change and a bit of a kicking. Companies can find it easy to disassociate themselves from skills development as it can be easier to buy things in and reheat them, but Stena were keen on bringing on their chefs. My passion is teaching, and I looked at the chefs on board and saw a willingness to learn. It won't be a quick fix, though.

With ferries not known for their quality food, have you struggled to turn the offer around? Changing things needs a willingness at the highest level, capability from the chefs, and time. What I'm doing is going back to basics and giving the chefs the skills to cook the dishes. At the most basic level that means teaching them how to cook a dish and sending them away to learn it like a robot, but that's not a long-term solution.

The menu is quite ambitious in places. Is there demand for this on board? The demographics are interesting on board, and we need to cater for all socio-economic demographics. The big sellers are the likes of the burger and pizza, so what I did was take it back to basics, and now the chefs make their own pizzas with home-made tomato sauce.

At the end of the day, no one is aiming for Michelin stars, we're just trying to satisfy all the passengers on board.

E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk

Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

Blogs on Catererandhotelkeeper.com ](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/blogs) Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[E-Newsletters](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/email-newsletters.htm)[ For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking