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Star chef Luke Mangan’s search for a Culinary Experience Officer

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Popular restaurateur Luke Mangan has created the ultimate foodie job to taste, travel and document his dishes and drinks that are now found on planes, trains, ships and on shore.

To celebrate the milestone of becoming the first restaurateur in the world to have dishes served on land, at sea, in the air and now on rail through a new partnership with Eastern and Oriental Express, Mangan has launched a search for a CEO (Culinary Experience Officer).

Mangan is on the hunt for the biggest ‘foodie’ to get a taste of some of the best food and wine experiences, mentoring time with Luke and training from Tourism Australia’s world leading social media team.

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The crowned ‘CEO’ will land the role of a lifetime and a money-can’t-buy smorgasbord of travel and tasting experiences in October that includes joining Luke for the inaugural journey on board the Eastern and Oriental Express.

They will develop content and report on Luke’s extensive portfolio, including a taste of Virgin Australia’s Business Class, a Hamilton Island P&O cruise, as well as dinners at Luke’s restaurants in Asia and the Maldives.

As part of the CEO selection process, over and above looking for social media enthusiasts, three different types of top “foodies” will be shortlisted.

In partnership with Tourism Australia, Mangan is looking to uncover Australia’s best bartender, to develop a signature Australian cocktail or non-alcoholic drink. The winner will be asked to create a uniquely ‘Australian beverage’, that will be served at the opening night gala of the Australian Tourism Exchange and at all of Mangan’s restaurants globally.

In partnership with P&O Cruises Australia, Mangan is looking to uncover Australia’s most creative yet undiscovered home cook. The individual will have the chance of showcasing a dish of theirs on board each of Mangan’s five Salt grill restaurants on five different P&O cruise ships.

In partnership with Virgin Australia, Mangan and his team are looking to discover the finest artisan food producers from across Australia, whose produce or products will be showcased on Virgin Australia’s sophisticated Business Class menu.

The final three candidates’ strengths will be assessed in September by Mangan, representatives from Tourism Australia, Virgin Australia, P&O, Hilton Hotels and Time Out Restaurant Editor Freya Herring, before the CEO winner is announced.

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“It’s always been a dream of mine to have our food not only on land but at sea, in the air or on rail.,” Mangan said.

“Our promise is to ensure customers have access to the very best food and wine experiences – and this is precisely the opportunity we want to give our CEO.

“Myself and the team are in a unique position to showcase our country’s amazing produce and ingredients to tens of thousands of people that experience my restaurants, Virgin Australia flights, P&O cruises, Hilton Hotels, Tourism Australia events and now Eastern and Oriental Express trains.

“With our business firmly based on relationships, this is truly an incredible opportunity for someone who wants to firmly mark their position within the food and wine sphere whilst having access to a group of premium brand partners who we are fortunate to work with on a daily basis,” he said.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said it was great to see a ‘Friend of Australia’ continue the Australia’s recent tradition of creating and recruiting for some of the best jobs in the world.

“Luke has been a wonderful ambassador for our industry, particularly in the generous and enthusiastic support he has provided for our current food and wine push,” he said.

“Like our own Restaurant Australia campaign, this is an initiative which will help draw the world’s attention to the people, the fresh produce and the incredible places that make our country’s food and wine offering truly world class.”

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Virgin Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell added: “Luke has been instrumental in using the freshest produce from around Australia matched with premium wines to deliver a restaurant in the sky dining experience for our Business Class guests.

“We are very much looking forward to working with the successful artisan supplier to showcase remarkable produce at 30,000 feet.”

P&O Cruises Australia President, Sture Myrmell, agreed that the CEO search would be an extraordinary experience for aspiring foodies.

“One of the many reasons we enjoy working with Luke is that he is innovative and this competition is a prime example of that trait,” he said.

“P&O Cruises has partnered with Luke for almost 6 years and we’re looking forward to being part of his search for a CEO – it’s going to be an incredible journey for the entrants.”

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