Saul Henry IV

Q&A: Chef Saul Henry IV

Antarctica chef thaws out with OWP

Recently, OWP staff had a chance to sit down with Saul Henry IV to chat about his latest Michelin-star restaurant, Crustose, located at the Palmer Station in Antarctica. Saul’s culinary story started 42 years earlier as the director of smoothies and wraps at San Diego SeaWorld. He’s come a long way since then, as he was the first American to intern at NOMA in Copenhagen — washing dishes. In a 2012 New York Times article, he was recognized for his work at the Faroe Islands restaurant KOKS as the chef de lichen. Now he is stretching out to start a new project in Antarctica.

Q:  Hello, Saul, it is an honor being able to talk to you about your latest project, Crustose. Can you tell us a little about the food?

SHIV: Thank you for me having me. The food we serve at Crustose is “permafrost to table.” We focus on sustainable lichen farming. Also, we harvest only local phytoplankton. I think we offer an unparalleled experience to diners wanting something special. We even tried to dress up penguins as waiters, but they had a hard time following directions.

Q: I heard you have had some famous people recently dine at Crustose?

SHIV: I honestly don’t know what “famous” means. I personally think it’s just a state of mind. Since opening, we have had a few noteworthy people stop by. Just last month, Tim Apple feasted on the krill-stuffed sooty albatross on a bed of smoked fruticose lichen. He said he has never tasted anything like it. In addition, Marillyn Lockheed jetted in for an early dinner just last week. She dined on loin of crabeater seal with pickled liverwort.

Q: I heard that you are really fond of the synergy of food and wine. What wine right now is your go-to?

SHIV: Well, recently I have been really into this moss wine from Oregon. It is like no other out there. It just screams terra. Super earthy and pairs well with charred whale blubber.

Q: Wow, that sounds amazing. What is next for you, Saul?

SHIV: Well, I think I am going to start a dairy herd of three in Adamstown on Pitcairn Island. I’ve always been in love with the soils and terroir you get there. I realize even with three cows, the amount of milk might be over-kill, but, it sounds cool, don’t you think? The “dot” in the middle of the South Pacific is like no place else on this blue island in space.

Q: What do you like to do during your free time?

SHIV: I really enjoy taking long walks on the ice bergs with my tabby cat named Dog, listening to Gregorian chant while polishing silverware, and watching the 1986 smash slasher: April Fool’s Day. Thirty-some years later, the movie still makes me jump. It never gets old.

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