Holland America Line-Approved: Playing With Food and Making Faces

April 6 is the one day of the year you’re encouraged to play with your food.

Chef Rudi Sodamin creating a food face.
Chef Rudi says a happy fruit face is a great way to start the day with a smile.

It’s Holland America Line’s “National Food Faces Day.” Designated in the National Day Archives, the day commemorates the culinary pop art created by the brand’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, whose birthday is April 6.

Chef Rudi’s “Food Faces” use basic ingredients to create cheerful characters on a plate.

My computer desk was turned into a makeshift kitchen counter this April 6, as I got to create my very own Food Face alongside Chef Rudi during a webinar hosted by HAL.

I sprinkled some strawberries, placed some peaches, laid out an orange and before I knew it, my palatable visage took shape.

Sodamin has been creating Food Faces for several years. It all started very casually in a shipboard galley, where he used quirky food faces to entertain team members. Today, it’s an integral part of the Holland America Line brand, and even a staple of Chef Rudi’s award-winning Sel de Mer seafood restaurant.

A collection of Chef Rudi's Food Faces.
Some of Chef Rudi’s Food Faces.

In 2018, he released the art-table book, “Food Faces,” featuring more than 150 vibrant images of his edible cast of characters.

“When I saw how my Food Faces inspired people and made them smile, I knew that this art was capable of something special. I want to spread that joy through these works of art created with food,” said Sodamin. “Food Faces can be made with anything edible, and I encourage everyone to have fun, be creative and let go while making culinary art.

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