We are pleased to introduce you to our new Head Chef, Roy Richards who will join Mantis St Helena in April 2018.
Roy Richards is a seasoned South African chef who served loyally on the RMS St Helena for 15 years.
Roy’s culinary career started in 1995 at Haute Cabriere Cellar Restaurant in Cape Town. While working in Zambia in 2003 he was presented with the opportunity to work on the RMS St Helena. Chef Roy grabbed the opportunity with both hands, albeit with slight reservation. He had never worked on a ship before and planned to only be on the RMS for two years. Little did he know that he would be charmed by the Saints and his heart encapsulated by life on the high seas for the next 15 years.
The RMS St Helena was a unique cargo and passenger ship that was, until last year when St Helena‘s airport opened, the only means to get to the remote island of St Helena. Built in 1989, the RMS is one of only two vessels in the world still to carry the venerable title of Royal Mail Ship which was held in the past by many famous British passenger liners. The ship’s purpose was to bring supplies of every kind to the island of St Helena, a British Overseas Territory deep in the tropical South Atlantic. An RMS voyage, while a vital link for St Helena, was esteemed for its modern facilities and captured a bygone era of cruising, reminiscent of the halcyon days of the Union Castle Line, with great entertainment, wonderful gastronomy and unbroken expanses of Atlantic blue.
One of the most enjoyable parts of Roy’s time on the ship was training the local Saints that worked with him in the kitchen and familiarizing them with his culinary profile. After adapting to the island dialect, he made fast friends with locals on the island and looked forward to the time he would spend ashore on St Helena.
Now he looks forward to being on the island permanently and reconnecting with old friends from his days at sea. Cooking on the island does come with its own set of challenges, as we can all imagine. Given his long relationship with the island and its people, Chef Roy is probably the best-qualified person to innovate new dishes from the staple ingredients that are unique to one of the most remote islands in the world. Roy wants to serve food that will not only compliment the Mantis St Helena Hotel, but the island and Saints as well.
He plans to introduce international cooking styles, flavour profiles and culinary trends to the island but also feels very strongly about allowing guests to experience authentic St Helenian dishes made just the way the locals enjoy them. These firm island favourites include traditional St Helenian black pudding, Tuna chutney, Wahoo (a barracuda like fish), Rock Cod, tuna fishcakes, and a dish called Plo which he can only reference as a wet briyane.
Chef Roy looks forward to serving you with the most delectable dishes during your stay on St Helena!
Download our Sample Menu here.
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