29 November 2016
From the school flagpole all the way to the South Pole, Olivier Hubert, Executive Chef at St Helen and St Katharine in Abingdon, raises the flag for the school with pride as he starts his six month sabbatical with the research organisation, the British Antarctic Survey. Olivier applied for the position in January and was selected from over 100 shortlisted applicants to join the catering team supporting the Halley VI Research Station as it is moved to its new site further inland in the coming months.
He began his journey from Abingdon to Antarctica with a stop off in Cape Town, before flying in a converted Russian cargo plane to start his polar adventure.
“This experience is simply amazing – yesterday we went to the edge of the ice shelf to do some ice climbing, walked over the sea ice and wandered among an emperor penguin colony. Among other things, we have received a Good Luck card from no less than Sir David Attenborough and the BBC arrives on Wednesday, weather permitting, to film a documentary about the BAS and the Halley Base move.”
Perched on the Brunt Ice Shelf, Halley VI is the world’s first re-locatable research facility. Made up of a series of eight interlinked pods built on skis, it can now be towed into a safer position by specialist heavy vehicles, away from a potentially dangerous crack opening up in the ice shelf.
“We are extremely proud of Olivier and so excited,” enthuses Head, Rebecca Dougall. “His pursuit of a dream, going so far out of his comfort zone and challenging himself in such extreme conditions is a wonderful example of the kind of attitude that we instil in our students here at school. We are hugely looking forward to sharing his polar culinary adventures through his diary, with live phone links, social media posts and insights into the globally important environmental research that BAS undertakes.”