There’s a symphony taking place on the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer train, but passengers will never hear it. That’s because maestro and executive chef Jean Pierre Guerin is conducting what he calls a logistical symphony in the train’s galley. The end result is a season filled with well-orchestrated and delicious meals.
On a recent Rocky Mountaineer trip, I was fascinated by the work of the train’s culinary staff. Theirs is no simple feat.
Guerin, one of three executive chefs employed by Rocky Mountaineer, said each train usually has three chefs per galley; 26 chefs in total were working during my trip. Keep in mind that these kitchens are approximately 15 feet long and less than 5 feet wide.
“A lot of the staff has never worked in such a small space before,” Guerin said. “And when you add hosts plating food, that makes things really cozy.”
When the travel season begins, Guerin said it takes a few days for everyone to get their “train legs” and find a working rhythm on the moving train. The precision of service is perfectly timed, down to placing the garnish on top of a breakfast dish and hitting the mark perfectly on each plate.
There are two levels of food service offered by Rocky Mountaineer: SilverLeaf and GoldLeaf. If you believe food to be an integral part of any trip, opt for GoldLeaf service. The meals are freshly prepared on the train. In SilverLeaf class, warming ovens are used to reheat prepared food brought on board. And like in-flight food service, SilverLeaf passengers eat at their seat.
However, the domed bi-level GoldLeaf train cars have a lower-level dining room. Twice a day, we walked downstairs to be served by our hosts. This also provided opportunities to enjoy a meal with fellow passengers. Entertaining conversations were the perfect side to these lovely meals.