On The Line: Todd Henderson of The Queen Mary, Part Two

Categories: On the Line
Henderson2.jpg
Photo by Liz Monroy

Besides their on-board dining options, Chef Henderson pointed out their newest seasonal exhibit about to debut: CHILL, a wintery collection of ice sculptures, activities, and festive food and drink for all ages.

Read our interview with Todd Henderson of The Queen Mary, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two . . . .


When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
Trying to get my 4-year-old daughter to comb her hair.

Last song playing:
Van Halen's Everybody Wants Some.
Where did you grow up?
I was made in Japan, born in San Diego, but grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. The job brought me back to California.

As a child, what profession did you want to be?
I wanted to be in the armed forces. My dad was in the Navy. In high school, I always tested out to be a machine operator. I was just more mechanically inclined.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
Change is the only thing that is consistent.

What's your favorite childhood memory?
My parent's Christmas parties. Every time I smelled curried chicken, it reminded me of my mother's cooking, especially during the holidays. They would have these parties at the house, and my brother and I would spend the day booby trapping the house. Great times.

Have you experienced any ghosts/haunted moments while working?
Yep. Nothing visual, just a weird feeling going through a place I walk through a hundred times a day. Now my wife, on the other hand . . . .[Editor's Note: At this point, we learn his wife also works there, and she is happy to share a sighting.]

"I've had two instances where the water just turned on by itself. And there's nobody there, because I'm the first one here in the morning. Whether it's pressure, I don't know. But it does happen. Or I'll turn around, and our mop bucket is being filled up, and there's no-one here. And I see things in the hall. I see things out of the corner of my eye. I'm not a skeptic; I believe."

What were you up to five years ago?
Working in Scottsdale, Arizona; anticipating the birth of my daughter.

On a regular day, what is your schedule?
I usually leave at 7:45 a.m., depending on breakfast business, and leave the ship about 7:30-8:00 p.m.

Last book you read; how was it?
What Would Steve Jobs Do. It was a very insightful read about management styles and group dynamics at the workplace.

Last thing you looked up:
Queenmary.com - checking my online menus for Sunday brunch. We just updated the entire website, and I was testing to see how long it would take for updates to appear online.

Do you have any skills that are non-food related?
I can fix anything with duct tape, plastic wrap and zip ties. But really, spending time with my beautiful daughters is all the skill I need. They are amazing.

What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
I would work in the distillery for Jack Daniels or be a roadie for Van Halen.

David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?
David Lee Roth, "It's Van Halen, not Van Hagar."

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Queen Mary

1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA

Category: General

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