"I just love cooking in general" confesses QM2 Executive Chef Mark
Oldroyd and that passion comes through when he discusses the topic.
Accordingly, when I asked Chef Oldroyd what some of his favorite
selections were from the menu in the Todd English restaurant on QM2, he
responded by preparing some of the dishes that are his personal favorites
and some which are the favorites among the guests who dine in the
restaurant in order to illustrate his remarks. (Comments by the chef about
each dish are set forth next to its photo below).
Chef Oldroyd is in a particularly good position to discuss these dishes.
As one of the dining venues aboard the great ocean liner, the Todd English
Restaurant is within his area of responsibility. Moreover, Chef Oldroyd
is not just a supervisor but an experienced professional chef.
He first learned his profession working in England and in Michelin star
restaurants in France. One day he saw an advertisement in a British
catering magazine and decided to apply for a position with Cunard. “I had
a former boss who used to work on the old Franconia and Queen Mary.
He was always boasting how good it was. I saw 'Cunard' and I thought
I’d go for that because it is the only shipping company that I have been
passionate about, being a truly British company”
One of a set of twins, his brother Nicholas joined Cunard at the same
time. “We started at the bottom and worked our way up.” This included
time on the Queen Elizabeth 2, the QM2 and on the Queen Victoria. Now,
nearly eleven years later, Mark is the executive chef on QM2 and
Nicholas is the executive chef on the new Queen Elizabeth.
Executive Chef Mark Oldroyd in the galley of the
Todd English Restaurant
Cruise ship specialty restaurant review and interview - - Cunard - - Queen Mary 2 - - Todd English Restaurant - page 3
THE TODD ENGLISH
QUEEN MARY 2
The Chef's Choice
Executive Chef Mark Oldroyd
Selects Some Favorites
from the Todd English Menu
Richard H. Wagner\
Maine Crab Cake (lunch menu) - "I recommend
the crab cakes. Todd's crab cakes are very good.
The sauce is a fiery tomato which is made with
ginger with a slight Asian taste to it. And then we
have a little cucumber-tomato salad. You have a
crab cake and a guacamole cream and we have his
signature garnish which he calls ‘sexy’. It is one of
his signature dishes."
menu) - - "What we
have on the bottom
is a basil aiolli,
with French beans,
quail eggs olives
and garlic chips."
Za'Tar Roasted Beets (dinner menu) - -
"The roasted yellow beets comes with the
za' tar spice and cashew nuts which have
been tossed in spices. [It has] Greek
yogurt, a nice vibrant arugula salad and
sesame seeds as well. It is interesting. You
get sweets and sours then you get the
spiciness from the arugula Its nice. It is
one of our favorites."
Love Letters (dinner menu) - - A vegetarian dish
described on the menu as "pumpkin puree and
amaretto biscuit with a Madeira glaze."
"Everyone loves the Love Letters. Todd always
emphasizes his Love Letters. They are very, very
good. It is a signature dish. The one which we used
to have on the menu is the truffled potato but this one
is pumpkin with amaretto biscuits inside. A nice
sauce and a Madeira glaze Todd says it is like a
little package of love."
Shaved Asparagus Caesar (lunch menu)
- - "This is Todd’s twist on a Caesar
salad. What we have here is at the base of
the salad, there is a nice tomato ragout
and then you have the classic Caesar with
Todd’s Caesar recipe. Then you have the
anchovies. The sliced asparagus is coated
in bread crumbs and Parmesan. That is
deep-fried and then we slice it. It’s a nice
twist and a delicious Caesar salad."
Pan seared Salmon (lunch menu) - -
This dish includes octopus confit,
cauliflower puree, green harrisa and
saffron bean salad."
"The octopus has been slowly cooked
in oil, really slowly so that it becomes
tender. The salmon, of course, is cooked
ala minute. We sear the skin first and
then slowly cook it so it should be slightly
pink in the center."
Surf and Turf (dinner menu) - - "For
me, I like the surf and turf combination
- - the contemporary surf and turf. That
is a real popular one as well."
"The lobster is in a ragout with a
little bit of sauce. We have a celeriac
and potato gratin, baby vegetables with
Swiss Chard, which is bread-crumbed.
The fillet steak has lobster ragout with
Bearnaise sauce on it."
" All of Todd’s sauces are reduced.
There is no starch or anything in them.
They start off with the stocks and then
we do an enriched stock and reduce it
Mediterranean Paella (lunch menu) - - "Todd’s
take on paella."
Todd's Carrot Cake (dinner menu) - - "The
carrot cake is like a discovery when people
order it. When your order a carrot cake you
expect a cake with a frosting on top. But
when it comes, you say ‘oh wow."
"It is a very contemporary design. We have
the carrot ice cream and we have the carrot
caviar. We have pear and raisins. This is
like a cream cheese frosting and then the
actual carrot cake."
Warm Chocolate Pudding (dinner menu) -
- "One of the most popular dishes we have had
since the opening of the Queen Mary 2 was the
chocolate fallen cake. On the first menu, we
had chocolate fallen cake with a raspberry
sauce and that was the biggest hit ever.
Everyone loved that."
"Right now, on the new menu, we have the
trio of chocolate - - chocolate fallen cake,
chocolate sorbet and underneath is another
rich chocolate mousse. It is another winner."
White Chocolate Fallen Cake (lunch
menu) - - "It is another favorite. This is a
white chocolate fallen cake, chocolate
mousse and raspberry ice cream and this
under here is just crushed wafers, which
gives it a little texture. The chocolate
mousse is like a real thick chocolate