He grew up in Timaru, failed School Certificate and got a job washing pots and pans. Today, David Reihana is the Captain of Cuisine.
The 47-year-old Ngai Tahu man is the head Corporate Chef on the largest cruise ship in the world. He oversees 18 restaurants, 26 kitchens, nearly 80,000 meals a day and 346 staff all on board the liner, Harmony of the Seas.
Tonight, he shares his story exclusively with Native Affairs.
“I came from a background that wasn’t easy, my mum bringing up five of us in a state house living on the benefit,” says Reihana.
“The most important thing for me is to believe in yourself. A lot of people look at you – he’s not very smart. At the end of the day, you have to do it yourself.”
Reihana invited Native Affairs into his world on board, from the behind the scenes bustle to exquisite fine dining. And he’s not just in charge on Harmony of the Seas.
He oversees 10 of the 24 ships in Royal Caribbean International’s fleet.
“I don’t think it gets any bigger than this right now.”
For this inspiring true story, join us tonight on Native Affairs, 8pm, Maori Television.