Chef Rudi Scholdis has cooked alongside some of the top names in the culinary industry — Alain Ducasse, Charlie Trotter. He’s prepared meals for some of the world’s most famous names — Queen Elizabeth, Bill Clinton, Benjamin Netanyahu and a bevy of Hollywood bigwigs. And, now, as culinary director for Silversea Cruises, he’s bringing the finest culinary program at sea to travelers much like you.
The Belgian-born Scholdis cooked in various European countries before spending five years working in London hotels, including the iconic, 5-star Dorchester. As executive sous chef, he oversaw a 140-chef brigade, 10 banquet venues and five food outlets, including the award-winning Oriental Restaurant on Park Lane.
Now in charge of the dining venues and operations across Silversea’s eight vessels, Scholdis aims to continually raise the bar of culinary excellence on the high seas. Recently, Scholdis secured an exclusive partnership with Relais & Châteaux, in conjunction with Silversea’s L’École des Chefs program, to offer the only Relais & Châteaux cooking school at sea.
What three go-to ingredients are always in your home kitchen?
Wine — because I always drink wine when I cook, and sometimes I even put some in the food. All joking aside, I love to use wine to make sauces, cook stews and prepare other traditional family-style dishes.
Flour — I use all varieties. I built my home kitchen around an old, wood-fired bread oven, so I bake my own fresh breads every day.
Homemade condiments, chutneys, pestos and glazes — I have a big home garden, and the ingredients for these items are always in abundance. I have a cooking style I would describe as “condiment galore.”
What’s your favorite season for cooking, and why?
I’d say spring and summer, as vegetables and fruits are in abundance during those seasons.
Aside from your current position, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
I was head chef at The Dorchester Hotel in London.
What’s the first meal you ever cooked?
I was 14 years old and went with my parents to a game restaurant to eat marcassin, or young wild boar. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to replicate the dish for my friends. Since wild boar meat was so expensive, I used pork roast and marinated it for three days in wine, herbs and spices until it started to get the taste of game. To this day, my parents and friends still talk about the amazing meal I made.
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