Days of cruiseliner chef meals served at The Star Hotel
PUBLISHED: 19:46 18 February 2016 | UPDATED: 19:46 18 February 2016
The Star Hotel was my working home for 20 years from 1964-1084, where the majority of that time I had the pleasure of working for the Bondi family; Roger, Joan, Peter, James, Tina, Diane and of course not forgetting the two dogs, Tosca and Marcus.
Mr Bondi was the Star Hotel, the Star Hotel was Mr Bondi. Some of the staff in the Star Bar were head barman Lenny Tubby, while his brother Norman was bar cellarman. In the lounge was waiter Derek Swanston – how the ladies loved him with his unique character and style of dress that matched no other; while upstairs was Joe Adams, head waiter.
In the kitchen was Tony Chapman, ex-Cunard Cruise Line chef, while I was the ex-Union Castle Line chef. Then of course there are a few who will remember Sid Clark’s men’s hairdressing salon in the Star Hotel car park.
We were all valued members of what felt like a big, extended family with a common goal to ensure our guests felt as welcomer and comfortable as we could make them and with a mutual respect for each other.
Many a happy day was spent toiling in the heat and noise of a very busy kitchen, producing some of the best foot that ex-Cunard and ex-Union Castle chef could conjure up from their cruise liner experiences.
Back then, hotel cooking at The Star was a true art form, with every dish hand-made and using only fresh ingredients sourced locally. There wasn’t a powdered egg in sight!
Finally, and in addition to the many hundreds of guests who came to stay at the hotel, we had the pleasure of cooking breakfast for the overnight “guests” at the police station in Howard Street as there were no cooking facilities on site there. They however, did not have to pay for the pleasure of this service, at least not in monetary terms.
Pictured is Peter Bondi, president of Haven Rotary Club, presenting a set of knives to one of his late father’s “brigade of chefs” as he liked to call us, sometime during the 1970s.
Pictured are from left: Billy Reynolds, Mick Simm, ??, Paul Anderson, Mick Edwards, Peter Bondi, Brian Gedge, Tony Chapman.