Holland America Line’s master chef Rudi Sodamin is expanding his responsibilities with Carnival Corp., taking on the role of head of culinary arts for Princess Cruises.
“Chef Rudi is a hands-on leader with proven ability to motivate teams to achieve new levels of creativity and inspiration,” said Jan Swartz, group president of the Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, and P&O Cruises Australia brands. “Princess is already well-known for its strong culinary culture. We are bringing in Chef Rudi to build the kind of excitement and dining experiences that will impress our guests. He is the perfect person to bring an entirely new level of excellence and innovation to our culinary product, environmental dining experience, and service delivery.”
The role is a new one for Princess Cruises. As the head of culinary arts, Chef Sodamin will help create new dining experiences for the line and streamline Princess’ culinary team.
“A food experience is about human passion, energy, excitement, and expertise all channeled together to create an emotional, multisensory experience with a true human connection,” said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. “Chef Rudi is one of the few who truly understands this and how to consistently create culinary magic for guests, and we are fortunate to be able to tap his extensive know-how and leadership to further elevate the Princess onboard dining experience and inspire our culinary teammates throughout the fleet.”
Long History with Carnival Corp.
Chef Sodamin began his career at sea at 23 with Norwegian America Cruise Line, as the Chef de Cuisine on the luxury ship Vistafjord. At the time he was the youngest chef in the cruise line world to have responsibility on that scale. By 26, he was named corporate executive chef onboard the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2, again the youngest chef at sea to attain that title.
Under his leadership in the 1990s, the food served by the historic Cunard Line was widely acclaimed as some of the best in the world. After a dozen years at Cunard Line as vice president of food and beverage and corporate executive chef, Chef Sodamin jumped ship for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line as director of corporate food and beverage operations and culinary spokesperson. During his tenure, he built an international culinary team from across 50 nations and launched the brand’s first test kitchen.
After moving to Holland America Line in 2005, Chef Sodamin instituted the line’s Culinary Council, which he serves as Chairman of. He also spearheaded the line’s Culinary Art Center and worked with the Culinary Institute of America to develop and launch a residential Culinary Training Center in the Philippines.
His “Rudi’s Sel de Mer” restaurant can be found on three HAL ships and he recently partnered with Carnival Cruise Line to create “Rudi’s Seagrill” for Mardi Gras.
“I see food as the way to our guests’ hearts, and the individuals on the Princess Cruise culinary team bring great heart to what they do and take tremendous pride in their work,” Chef Sodamin said. “My goal is to grow that pride and lead the culinary workforce to new performance heights through innovative approaches to teamwork and creativity, collaboratively creating new signature interactive dining experiences, and motivating this talented team to new levels of culinary artistry.”
Chef Sodamin is also the author of 14 cookbooks including “Food Faces: 150 Feasts for the Eyes” and his most recent, “Rudi’s Sel de Mer: For the Love of Seafood.”