P&O Australia Recruits New Culinary Experience Officer


Since the arrival of its newest ships, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, P&O Australia has got serious about its culinary output — investing in a range of innovative on-board eateries and exciting new dining experiences.

One of the cruise line’s most successful foodie forays has been the appointment of Luke Mangan as the line’s official food ambassador. Luke is responsible for reinventing the dining experiences across the P&O Australia fleet, introducing new restaurants, flavours and cuisines to P&O’s at-sea food menu.

Just this week, P&O’s celebrated food ambassador selected one lucky candidate to become the line’s official Culinary Experience Officer. Sofia Levin from Collingwood, Melbourne beat off stiff competition to claim the role, and will now join Luke on an incredible travel experience as they scour the world in search of new flavours and dishes to serve aboard the P&O fleet.

Sofia was selected from some of Australia’s most passionate foodies, competing across three categories including Drinks Connoisseur, Talented Home Cook and Artisan Supplier. The competition was particularly tough, with some of Australia’s biggest names in food and drink striving to land the role as P&O’s new Culinary Experience Officer, including world-renowned bartender Luke Ashton and celebrated pastry chef, Christopher Thé.

P&O Culinary Experience Officer | Cruise1st Australia

Commenting on her new appointment with P&O Australia, Sofia enthused: “There’s nothing I love more than food and travel, ideally simultaneously. For a panel of industry professionals to give me this opportunity has been the icing on the cake of what’s already been an incredible experience.”

Despite not being a professional chef herself, Sofia impressed Luke and the P&O panel with her winning dish of beetroot cured kingfish and citrus fennel salad, as well as her obvious passion for food and travel. Her winning dish will be served in Luke’s Salt Grill Restaurant on-board each of P&O’s five ships between October 14 and October 30.

Speaking to Cruise Passenger, Luke also commented: “The prospect of selecting Australia’s best foodie was an exciting challenge and one we enjoyed immensely. We were consistently stunned by the level of talent in our own backyard and welcome Sofia to our family with open arms.

“We’re looking forward to what we can achieve with Sofia, working through my network of restaurants and brand partnerships to push the destination of what it means to create and celebrate food in all its forms.”

As part of Luke and Sofia’s culinary journey, the duo will enjoy a four-night cruise to Hamilton aboard the Pacific Aria, before journeying to Southeast Asia to explore the region’s exotic foodie scene — hopefully finding inspiration for a new range of exciting dishes to be served aboard the P&O Australia fleet along the way.

If you’re passionate about food, a cruise with P&O Australia is the perfect way to sample new dishes that showcase the diverse cuisine of Australia, Asia and beyond. To browse our complete range of P&O Australia cruises, click here or call our team today on 1300 857 345.

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