No place on Earth is colder than East Antarctica. Due to its higher elevation, not even West Antarctica can touch its hostile temperatures. Princess Elisabeth, a polar research station in the Queen Maud Land region, faces wind speeds of up to 155 mph (249 kph) and temperatures as low as -58°F (-50°C). A flair for comfort food is understandably a requisite skill for any chef working in this environment.
“As people are outside in extremely cold temperatures and harsh conditions, I like to make something nice and heavy for the body, like fondue and raclette. Lots of it,” says chef Thomas Duconseille, who mans this remote Antarctic post for several months each year. When there’s a group of cold scientists around 3,100 miles from the nearest city and at least 9,900 miles from home, it makes sense that hot cheese goes a long way. If only the rest of Duconseille’s culinary duties were this straightforward – cooking in these conditions comes with unique challenges….