Chef Miguel Maestre Samples The Rocky Mountaineer

17 June 2016

Not many people get to tick the Rocky Mountaineer off their bucket list. Spanish-born, Sydney-based celeb chef and TV presenter Miguel Maestre has been lucky enough to experience the epic rail journey through the Canadian Rockies twice, travelling in luxury through Vancouver, Banff and Whistler in Canada and visiting Seattle in the USA. On this most recent trip, which viewers can watch on Network Ten's The Living Room, we asked Miguel what he and his TV co-host Chris Brown sampled aboard the Rocky Mountaineer.

TV chef Miguel Maestre waves the Canadian flag outside the Rocky Mountaineer train carriage Miguel waves the (Canadian) flag for Rocky Mountaineer.

What does Canada mean to you?

Canada has a wild feeling about it, you see moose and wild bears in the street. Canadians are also so proud of how clean their country is and take care to keep it that way. I have only visited Canada twice but would love to go back.

This is your second time on the Rocky Mountaineer, how does it compare to your first trip and what did you do differently this time?

We had more fun in the kitchen this time - Rocky Mountaineer’s Executive Chef, Jean Pierre or ‘JP’ [Guerin] and I both speak Spanish so we got along great. But I had to limit what I ate in the amazing kitchen this time because I had to squeeze my body into Lycra to compete in a bobsled competition. We won though – thanks for asking!

TV chef Miguel Maestre and Rocky Mountaineer Executive Chef Jean Pierre Guerin stand in the onboard kitchen of the Rocky Mountaineer train Miguel and JP create culinary magic in the onboard kitchen.

Rocky Mountaineer is a luxury train journey, what are some of the examples of luxury that you experienced firsthand?

The food is 5-star quality and cooked in a small kitchen by a group of very dedicated chefs. There is nothing better than enjoying a delicious three-course meal in such a beautiful spot. I felt sorry for the diners who encountered Gringo [Chris Brown]. He worked as a waiter one day and spilt the red wine he was attempting to pour whilst on the moving train!

TV host Chris Brown looks at the Canadian Rockies through the window of the Rocky Mountaineer Chris surveys the scene from the train window.

Your Rocky Mountaineer journey went through the Canadian Rockies from Banff to Whistler, Vancouver and Seattle in the US. What was the most memorable place you visited on this trip and why?

Whistler is absolutely beautiful. I have never in my life been so close to a bear. She was an angry mum, protective of her baby. Very scary! I felt just like David Attenborough – a Spanish one.

TV hosts Chris Brown and Miguel Maestre pose with a Canadian Mountie outdoors in Canada Miguel and Chris tried Mountie training.

Tell us about some of the challenges you and co-host Chris Brown experienced, such as bobsledding and Royal Mounties training.

We tried summer bobsledding and the biggest challenge was trying to draw attention away from my frozen 'area' in the Lycra. The bobsled suits are very unforgiving.

How did you find the culinary experiences on board Rocky Mountaineer?

I like Chef Jean Pierre’s food a lot - the focus is on locally sourced, regionally inspired dishes. The quality of the food they make in a narrow galley kitchen on board a moving train is amazing.


More rail experiences on Rocky Mountaineer:

All aboard for Canada. Epic Train Journeys: Canada's Rocky Mountaineer

The routes and onboard experience. Luxury & Landscapes With Rocky Mountaineer


A stack of Nanaimo bars - an iconic sweet treat from British Columbia Those Nanaimo bars.

What were some of the iconic Canadian dishes you tried as part of the trip?

We had fresh salmon many times and cooked with bison in Banff, which was delicious - a different take on a steak sandwich. JP and I made Nanaimo bars on board the train – they are a Western Canadian treat made with chocolate and lots of butter (how could that be bad?). There is also a huge Asian influence in Canada so we had sushi galore - so fresh and delicious!

You cooked some dishes on the Rocky Mountaineer - what was the onboard kitchen like, and what are some of the challenges of cooking on a train?

It is outstanding quality food for the small space they work in!

TV hosts Miguel Maestre and Chris Brown wear Lycra suits emblazoned with the Australian flag for bobsledding The winning bobsled team.

You also explored the famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle - what tips did you pick up there?

We were there before it opened to the public so we got to see everyone prepare for the day. So much fresh seafood. When someone orders a fish, they throw it to the guy behind the counter to weigh and package. Watch out for UFF- unidentified flying fish!

Who were some of your fellow travellers you met on board Rocky Mountaineer?

So many Australians!

Can you sum up your Rocky Mountaineer experience in one word?

Asombroso (amazing in Spanish).

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