A Thank You to Lead Chef Dylan
We would like to express our deepest gratitude for the superlative service and kindness shown by your head chef, Dylan Hodgins during our recent cruise from Hobart to Melbourne (February 2023) with Santana Adventures. Both his service and disposition were exemplar. We conveyed our thanks to him daily, however we felt the need to share the experience he gave us during this experience. It wasn’t just about the wonderful food he prepared as he catered to our very specific dietary needs, it was about so much more. Let me take a minute to explain a bit further.
In recent years, my diet has become medically restricted and both Todd and I also became vegans. As a result of these restrictions, I consequently became uncomfortable with the thought of traveling and was reluctant to do so. In September of 2022, we started to entertain the idea of traveling and how we could do it with less concern about food. We thought that a cruise experience might best be able to accommodate me. I could provide the details of my dietary needs and could hopefully more seamlessly have those needs met daily without repeated explanation and possible frustration. For the sake of clarity, I provided a multi-page list of approved foods to your hospitality staff. We embarked on 3 February not knowing for certain how this would all work out, but we were given every assurance that I (we) would be able to eat, and eat well.
From our first dinner and interaction, Dylan gave us peace of mind. He mentioned that he had my multi-page list of approved foods and familiarized himself with what I could eat. He was very proactive and sought us out daily to discuss our meals. He modified the dishes offered during a meal service and incorporated any additional requests we had with no hesitance. He would also come up with creative and tasty meals that were unique to our needs. For example, he made a scrumptious pasta dish with an avocado sauce and topped it with tofu and pine nuts or a special ‘curry’ that was loaded with squash, tofu and chickpeas that left us wanting more.
He would almost always serve us our meals directly and would sit for a moment to chat with us about what he prepared. He always was delighted that he could help meet our needs and could see our enthusiasm and excitement to eat his wonderful meals.
So, what did Dylan give us during our 10 days onboard? There is no doubt that he gave us great food. More importantly, he gave us peace of mind. He wasn’t just a chef behind the scenes cooking for us from my list of approved foods. He made it a point to interact with us daily and did so with professionalism but also with a caring heart. We had no worries about eating, and he made our experience special. We never had any doubt that we would feel completely satiated. One of the highlights from this cruise experience was Dylan taking the time to interact with us.
Michelle & Todd