This week at Davis: 10 May 2019

The best sourdough in Antarctica...

A Chef's Life

If the United Nations can have World Tuna Day (yep...it's a thing!) it seemed like a good reason to have a chat with our Chef-in-residence, Nick Baker...

How do you like being a Chef in Antarctica?

Well that's the thing. I misread the application form. I thought it said Antarctic Chief. Sounded pretty cool. I’m here now though, I guess.

How many Stations have you worked at?

I've spent many, many years at all four stations. Except Casey anyway…and Mawson. So two stations. One winter at each…but long ones.

What are your responsibilities at Davis?

The main responsibility I have is to ensure I have a shower every single day, what with these new hygiene regulations. It's no easy task, I can tell you. Always a bit of a fight...and I'm the WH&S Officer.

What do you miss most about home?

Well, I'm from the UK, so I miss the cold and the snow. Obviously.

What made you come to Antarctica?

My family. If there was anywhere further away from them, I can guarantee they would have got me a ticket there.

Is there anything you wish you had bought with you?

Clothes basically. No-one said there would be blizzards...and some recipe books so I know what to do.

Do you have any other duties on station?

Well, I am rather important, so my time is limited. I think I’m some sort of fireman, possibly. I need to watch Backdraft again though.

What do you do on your days off?

I like to sit on the edge of the rocks near the sea, one hand under my chin, and look into the distance like a poet would.

So….what’s it like being the second best darts player on station?

I’ve come to terms with it. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Describe your attitude to cooking

I am a huge fan of minimalism, and the deconstructed movement. Work smarter, not harder I say.

What's the best thing about Antarctica?

Definitely the wonderful people back at the Division, if only because I want another job Mr. Tennant. The never-ending onslaught of acronyms is great too. Also, it is SO rewarding when people back home ask you constantly about the Polar Bears and Eskimos.

Has Antarctica changed you in any ways?

I think it’s plain to see that I now take things much more seriously than I used to.

Antarctic chef on sea ice
When the deep freezer is outside...minus 25degC.
(Photo: Simon G)
Antarctic chef baking cakes
Smashing out the birthday cakes
(Photo: Meg McK)
Antarctic chef baking
Best sour dough in Antarctica!
(Photo: Nick B)
Antarctic chef at Christmas
Is a half-decent slushy too much to wish for??
(Photo: Matt G)
Antarctic chef at the Sorsdal Glacier
Just another day at the office.
(Photo: Mick D)