Oceania Cruises self-confidently proclaims they offer “the Finest Cuisine at Sea.” While culinary tastes are definitely subjective, Oceania’s unprecedented array of culinary acumen and accolades supports the luxury cruise line’s bold declaration.
The Oceania Culinary Team
Oceania’s commitment to gastronomic excellence starts at the very top of the culinary team. World-renowned master chef Jacques Pépin has been the Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises since its inception. His personal style and food wizardry inspires the rich range of flavors and the use of fresh seasonal ingredients onboard.
Fleet Corporate Chef Franck Garanger is responsible for creating innovative new menus that allow Oceania to live up to their label of “finest cuisine at sea.” Culinary Director Eric Barale handles the logistics of procuring the fresh ingredients, as well as the equipment and staff necessary to execute those creations fleet wide.
Each ship has a Senior Executive Chef and one or more Executive Chefs who bring with them a laundry list of distinctions, including James Beard awards, Culinary Institute of America degrees, and experience in the world’s most prestigious restaurants. In addition, there are hundreds of chefs and sous chefs onboard the ships, from acclaimed pastry chefs and chocolatiers to masters of foie gras or regional specialties, who produce thousands of exquisite meals each week.
In the Words of the Chefs
Fleet Corporate Chef Franck Garanger, on his decision to join Oceania in 2003: “I really liked the passion of all the people involved. They were so into food that, in everything we were creating, they were not only behind me but also tasting the food with me. When you have the CEO and the president coming on board just to taste the food to see if we can put it on the menu, it applies a little pressure, but it is also very rewarding because you can really see how important the food is to the company.”
Executive Chef Kelly, Bon Appétit Culinary Center: “My most rewarding and memorable days are always spent in local markets with our guests – from Helsinki to Istanbul, Hobart to Tortola, Athens to Amsterdam. There is so much to be learned in these markets (and from these farmers) about the seasonality of food, and the joy of travel for many of our guests is learning the authentic cuisine, ingredients, wines, food traditions and culinary techniques of the places we travel.”
Executive Chef Farid Oudir, on what he loves about being a chef for Oceania Cruises: “I am most impressed by the quality of the ingredients that we use on board – as well as the high standards for the presentation of every dish, and the different types of food from cultures and countries around the world. The guests really become family because we have such a high rate of past guests. And then, of course, we have a great camaraderie amongst the crew.”
Senior Executive Chef Alban Gjoka, on the most prized ingredients used onboard: “The lobsters from Maine and Brittany have a huge impact on our menus and with good reason, due to their excellent quality and flavor. The dry-aged certified Black Angus USDA Prime beef is another, and that’s not even mentioning the vast selection of top spices from around the world.”
Senior Executive Chef Alexis Quaretti, on what “the Finest Cuisine at Sea” means: “We have premium products, highly skilled chefs, and excellent equipment and galley space to run our daily operation. It means that we are serving superior dishes day after day – what truly makes the difference is the consistency of our high-caliber gourmet cuisine and presentation across the fleet.”
2019 Culinary Innovations
As a leading culinary-focused cruise line, part of OceaniaNEXT enhancements includes offering culinary experiences that resonate with contemporary lifestyle choices.
- Plant-Based Cuisine – Oceania has unveiled the most extensive and creative plant-based menus at sea with more than 200 new healthy dishes available on each ship.
- Dom Pérignon Experience at La Reserve – Celebrate the extraordinary moments in life with a culinary event worthy of the finest champagne on earth.
- Grand Dining Room New Menu Options – The Grand Dining Room offers more than two dozen dishes to choose from nightly – six appetizers, three soups, four salads, nine main courses, and nine side dishes, including vegetarian and healthy living options.
- Vero Water Sustainability Initiative – The line’s ships will be outfitted with Vero Water’s acclaimed still and sparkling water distillation systems which will eliminate an estimated three million plastic bottles per year.
The Finest Cuisine at Sea
All of this talent strives unwaveringly to provide a culinary experience at sea without equal. Here are some sample menus to whet your appetite.
Invariably, guests agree that Oceania does indeed offer the Finest Cuisine at Sea. To judge for yourself, contact the cruise experts at Covington Travel and make an Oceania cruise your next vacation.
Here are some additional blog posts about Oceania you may enjoy:
Oceania Cruises Culinary Discovery Tours
Oceania Cruises Gives a Whole New Meaning to ‘Traveling Art Collection’
Disclosure: Covington Travel is pleased to recognize Oceania Cruises as a valued partner and sponsor of this post. Source of quotes: Oceania Cruises; Mouthwatering photos courtesy of Oceania Cruises.