Concordia Station is a French-Italian research facility in Antarctica. It is roughly halfway between the Antarctic coast and the South Pole, which makes it pretty isolated from anything. However, the French and Italians care greatly about the food served to the station's crew. Luca Ficara spent a year as the station's chef.
Each year, the Italian National Program for Antarctic Research (which maintains the base along with the French Polar Institute Paul Emile Victor) holds a lottery to determine who will be spending the next year as the resident chef at Concordia. This lottery system has won the station something of a reputation for its food, which received a nod in the Lonely Planet as a place "considered by many to enjoy Antarctica's best cuisine, with fine wines and seven-course lunches on Sundays."
While Ficara didn't really expect to end up in the Concordia Kitchen, he turned out to be the perfect fit for the job given his diverse culinary repertoire. The chefs chosen by the PNRA must demonstrate not only proficiency as cooks, but also a robust knowledge of international culinary practices so that they can cater to the tastes of the 13-person Concordia winter crew, who hail from England, Switzerland, France, and Italy.
Ficara was challenged with feeding 75 people during the summer (November to February) and then providing interesting meals for 13 during the long dark winter, using an inventory of supplies that must last eight months, with no assistants. And for the Sicilian Ficara, another challenge was that the wine is all French. Read about how he worked with what he had to create amazing meals at the bottom of the world. -via Digg
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