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Isabelle, chef manager

Isabelle joined BAS in September 2002 as a “wintering” Chef Manager at Rothera. Before joining the Survey she was a Catering and Domestic Bursar in a residential special school. Isabelle has also had a highly successful career in the Army where she achieved several top awards for her post as Chef.

A change of scene

“My previous job was pretty much desk bound and I wanted to get back to doing some ‘real’ cooking. I also wanted to ‘rediscover myself’, which may sound a little naff, but at 46 years of age I thought the clock was ticking.

I’m out in the Antarctic as a Chef Manager. Basically that means managing all aspects of food production from keeping watch over the food supplies to training other station members on basic cookery”.

Morale officer?

“A big and often underestimated part of the job is maintaining station morale. A station really does march on its stomach, and the job is about providing quality food, and themed nights, celebrating birthdays, special treats, curry nights basically anything to keep the station buzzing.

I miss things like shopping, going out to dinner, sitting in the garden, visiting friends. However, life is pretty normal down here too, just in an Antarctic context”.


“Some of the highlights have been co-piloting a Twin Otter aircraft, Nordic skiing, Spanish lessons, driving a skidoo, photographic developing, medical training, even learning to play bridge and singing in a band.

In my experience, chefs know how hard it is in our trade. So if you’re into alpine sports, wildlife, the great outdoors, this is the perfect place to get your thrill”.