It’s all about the food

Casey’s chefs

The kitchen team this year is Arvid, Justin and myself, Jordan. We all love working in Antarctica and are enjoying this season here at Casey.

Let me tell you a little more about the team.

Arvid was born in the Netherlands, moving to Australia years ago, and he and his family now call Tasmania home. Arvid has cooked around the world and this is his third summer in Antarctica (his first was at Davis and this is his second at Casey).

Justin was born in New Zealand, he also moved to Australia years ago and he and his family live in Northern NSW. Justin has also worked around the world and this is his fifth time to the Icy Continent. He has done winters at Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island, as well as a summer at Scott Base (the Kiwi station).

I am from Sydney (planning on moving to Tassie)  and have also cooked around the world, this is my fourth summer at Casey. However this year I will be waving off the summerers from the runway, as I am staying for my first winter!

As you can see we are a fairly seasoned bunch (however we are always learning, especially from each other) and our main objective is to keep the station fed and happy. We try to keep the meals varied and interesting, nutritionally sound and without using up all the stock (as it has to last for 12 months).

Apart from the daily breakfast, smoko, lunch and dinner, we also make birthday cakes, formal dinners, theme nights, Sunday brunches, the Christmas feast and co-ordinate our very talented team members that cook our bbq’s :)

We also have many people who help us in their spare time: peeling, slicing, making cakes and cookies and also learning the art of making bread etc. Without all the amazing people that come in to assist (Sean, Dean, Anne and Tanya to name the mainstays, as well as so many others…), the kitchen wouldn’t be functioning as well as it is, so thank you!

Jordan Smith 

Get to know a Casey expeditioner — Brendan Barnes

Name: Brendan Barnes

Nicknames: Bren, Breno, Brendo (or /Bren(?:d(?:an|o)|n?o)? for techies who enjoy regex).

From: Melbourne. Sydney originally.

Previous seasons: I was at Mawson last summer. It’s great to be down south again.

Job title: Information Technology Officer (ITO).

Describe your role in two sentences: I provide information and communications technology (ICT) support to science projects and infrastructure on station. Most importantly I help keep expeditioners in touch with their families and friends back home.

What did you do before you joined the AAD? I've worked in all kinds of ICT support roles in the education, warehousing, and insurance industries. I’ve turned many, many things off-and-on-again over the years.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey? The walk to the office. Every morning, regardless of the weather, when I step out from the cold porch I take a moment to enjoy the beautiful yet dramatic scenery of Newcomb Bay.

If you were not an IT Officer, what would be your dream job? Park ranger in the high country.

How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south? Mawson is a smaller, more remote station. Casey is a larger station with intercontinental flights throughout the season. The two are different but still share the same Antarctic station community spirit.

What do you like to do in your spare time? When it’s a good day outside, I enjoy walking around and exploring the Bailey Peninsula. When inside, I’m playing boardgames. This season I’ve finally learned how to play chess with a few mates so we “Chess Club” quite a few times each week.

What song sums up your Casey experience so far? Got to Be Real — Cheryl Lynn.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 72nd ANARE season here at Casey? Ideally Sam Worthington, but more realistically Arnold Rimmer from Red Dwarf.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? My blue Carhartt jacket. It’s never too hot or too cold, and I practically live in the thing.

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why? Azure Bonds written by Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb. It’s a fantasy novel which I can always go back to and enjoy how this unexpected group of adventurers find themselves in the worst situations but can still have a laugh at their predicaments.

What is your typical ‘Slushy FM’ genre? Do you have a particular favourite? Definitely 90s pop. Whilst the opening bars of many tunes will have people groaning that it’s a bad song, they’ll be singing along by the end of it.

Describe your Casey experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.

Sight: The comms status pages all showing all systems green.
Smell: New laptop smell. Most say there’s no such thing, but it is well-known by ITOs.
Sound: The background noise of fans on the equipment running in comms.
Feeling: Satisfaction of completed phone programming and no further changes are required.
Taste: Morning smoko. Big thanks to the chefs who make an awesome feed each day.

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with? “Not all those who wander are lost” — J. R. R. Tolkien.

Something people may not know about you: I was co-host of a gaming show on community television in Melbourne.