Meet The Crew: Executive Chef Andrew Capone

Mariposa Cruises Executive Chef Andrew Capone

Executive Chef Andrew Capone in the kitchen.

Mariposa Cruises is delighted to welcome Andrew Capone as our new Executive Chef. Having previously been part of our culinary team on the Mariposa Belle, Andrew has accumulated an impressive culinary background. We are excited to see how his talent and passion will elevate our food offerings this season. As Executive Chef, Andrew will manage our hospitality cruise operation, leading two (floating) kitchens on The Northern Spirit and The Captain Matthew Flinders to cater for a fleet of six vessels. During the peak summer period, he could prepare up to 3000 meals a day, a logistical and strategic challenge for any Chef.

Chef Andrew knew from a young age that a culinary career was his path. He credits his European upbringing and fondness of the Food Network as the influencers that led him to enroll in night school for culinary arts. He landed his first kitchen job at the Drake Hotel, where he learned for three years from great Chefs and mentors. He moved on to work at Thuet’s Bistro, where he was trained in French Cooking, picking up artisan bread making and traditional sauce-making techniques.

Chef Andrew decided to switch scenes to banquet halls, working at Grand Bacchus. “Moving from the restaurant scene to a banquet hall prepares you for a different type of food service where you’re cooking for 200 to 1500 people a night.” Other venues include The Harbord Room, Fantasy Farms where he worked his way up to Head Chef, and JW Muskoka Resort, before making the move to Banff in 2016. Eager to gain hotel experience, he started out as a General Chef de Cuisine at The Rimrock Hotel and was quickly promoted to Sous Chef after only a month.  There he had the opportunity to cater to an international audience and broaden his culinary training to fine dining, assisting at The Eden Restaurant, the Rimrock’s high-end establishment.

After returning to Toronto this year, Chef Andrew was offered and accepted the position of Executive Chef at Mariposa Cruises, where his training and expertise have been welcomed with enthusiasm.Working with fairly established menus for the season, Chef Andrew plans to revamp and elevate our menu by adding his own personal touches, sourcing out new, quality food suppliers, introducing new cured meats, fresh cheeses, premium breads & dips and handmade hors d’oeuvres to our offerings.  “I see myself putting my experience to work in the preparation techniques, in the quality of products and ingredients we use and in the presentation of our dishes.  This season our Public Menu offering will feature a fresh daily seafood option and a Chef’s Selection, which gives us the flexibility to get creative with local and seasonal products, serving up different salad selections and antipasto platters.”

Lunch buffet, Captain Matthew Flinders

Chef Andrew serves up lunch for Mariposa Crew on Orientation Day, featuring a fresh seafood offering and salad & taco stations.

The same applies with the Private Event Menus. He adds, “I am always willing to customize menus. I’ve prepared many types of cuisine from around the world, cooked for many cultures and a range of events. Our menu options offer enough variety to accommodate most dietary restrictions as well, whether vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free. Our investment in new Rational ovens will also allow for better roasting techniques and the ability to prepare, roast and vacuum seal food items for better storage and service. We will be able to serve our guests dishes we never could before, like roasted porchetta, made in the traditional way with the crispy outer skin and prepared with a rosemary and thyme salt rub.”

Most importantly, Chef Andrew will bring to us his invaluable expertise in the kitchen: “You need strong leaderships skills to run a kitchen, especially in a complex operation like Mariposa Cruses. Training is key and I’m excited to lead Mariposa’s culinary team in bringing our guests a great dining experience this season.”

Asked what he likes to cook for himself on his spare time, Chef Andrew replies, “I’m really random, whatever happens to be in the fridge. I love to make breakfast for dinner, but it’s never a regular breakfast. It’ll be something like pancakes and duck eggs. I like to go local butchers and places like the Farmers Market at Wychwood Barns in my neighborhood.  I’m not too picky when I eat at home…” and then adds, “ but I am picky when I dine out.“

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Crew: Customer Experience Manager Roshan Tajdini

Ro emcees Mariposa Cruises 30th Anniversary Voyage

Meet Customer Experience Manager, Roshan Tajdini, master of ceremonies and people person extraordinaire!  Roshan (aka Ro) has a background in entertainment and recreation that includes an 8-year tenure coordinating entertainment and events for Disney Cruise Lines, which gave him the opportunity to cruise all over the world. Two years ago, he left Disney Cruise Lines at the end of his contract to take an extended break and attend a family wedding. He took some time to travel around Canada and get his land legs back before returning to his hometown Toronto. Ro’s experience and warm & friendly personality was welcomed at Mariposa Cruises, where he has worked for two seasons. (more…)

What’s Cooking? The scoop on revamped menu offerings this season!

Andrew Vilhena, Director of Hospitality at Mariposa Cruises, talks about new onboard menu offerings this season. Our culinary team have developed a fresh take on our traditional buffet offerings.

Menu-wise, what can our guests anticipate in 2017?

We pay close attention to our customers’ requests, their preferences in menu selections, and the important feedback from post-cruise reviews and customer surveys. Buffets continue to be the most popular choice, however our Food Stations and cocktail style menus are becoming increasingly in demand.

Our 2017 menus consistently offer a vegetarian main, in addition to our traditional beef or chicken. We feature a variety of choices, different salads and sides for more vegetarian and vegan friendly options. Our delicious gluten-free tomato and edamame salad, or the cranberry and baby spinach stuffed tortilla (Gluten- Free & Vegetarian) with wild rice and butternut squash, are some examples.

Tell us about how Mariposa Cruises is revamping its cocktail-style menus:

We host a lot of cocktail style events for both our charter and scenic dining programs.  Our Sip & Sail Cruise program is a great alternative to a patio and a relaxed way to experience Toronto. We offer a variety of hors d’oeuvres, appetizers and platters on the menu. Guests can decompress from their work day, mingle, & take in the views and enjoy some food and cocktails.  (more…)

6 Helpful Tips for Planning your Wedding

Events Manager, Lauren Matunin talks wedding planning.  She’s been to over 100 weddings! Well not exactly…she’s coordinated that many during her tenure at Mariposa Cruises; plus many more special occasions on the water–so it sure feels that way! Lauren makes wedding dreams come true; and with so many happy nuptials behind her–and her own wedding to plan this year– she’s got plenty of insights & good advice to impart. (more…)

Tips for Holiday Party Planning

pictureMariposa Cruises talks to Leisure Program Coordinator, Courtney Mayer, who offers party planning advice that takes the stress out of planning and puts you on track to throwing a successful holiday gathering this season.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to throw a holiday party?

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Meet the Crew – Senior Sales Manager Sophie Watson

Meet-the-CrewAt Mariposa Cruises we strive to exceed expectations and provide our guests with the highest levels of quality and service. It’s what sets us apart from our competition and why we are recognized as Toronto’s best recreational cruise by Consumer Choice Award and voted one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor. It would be impossible to achieve this without the dedication and hard work that each of our team members exemplifies. For this reason, we want to celebrate our team members and let you get to know them a little bit better.

This month we would like to introduce you to one of our Senior Sales Managers Sophie Watson.

(more…)

Meet the Crew – Leisure Sales Director Sue Vivanco

Meet-the-CrewAt Mariposa Cruises we strive to exceed expectations and provide our guests with the highest levels of quality and service. It’s what sets us apart from our competition and why we are recognized as Toronto’s best recreational cruise by Consumer Choice Award and voted one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor. It would be impossible to achieve this without the dedication and hard work that each of our team members exemplifies. For this reason, we want to celebrate our team members and let you get to know them a little bit better.

This month we would like to introduce you to our Leisure Sales Director Sue Vivanco.

(more…)

Meet the Crew – Galley Chef Faye Valenzuela

Meet-the-CrewAt Mariposa Cruises we strive to exceed expectations and provide our guests with the highest levels of quality and service. It’s what sets us apart from our competition and why we are recognized as Toronto’s best recreational cruise by Consumer Choice Award and voted one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor. It would be impossible to achieve this without the dedication and hard work that each of our team members exemplifies. For this reason, we want to celebrate our team members and let you get to know them a little bit better.

This month we would like to introduce you to one of our Galley Chefs, Faye Valenzuela.

(more…)

Meet the Crew – Senior Sales Manager Brenda Tucker

Meet-the-CrewAt Mariposa Cruises we strive to exceed expectations and provide our guests with the highest levels of quality and service. It’s what sets us apart from our competition and why we are recognized as Toronto’s best recreational cruise by Consumer Choice Award and voted one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor. It would be impossible to achieve this without the dedication and hard work that each of our team members exemplifies. For this reason, we want to celebrate our team members and let you get to know them a little bit better.

This month we would like to introduce you to one of our Senior Sales Managers Brenda Tucker.

(more…)