For the past eight months, Fleet
Corporate Chef Franck Garanger and the rest of the Oceania Cruises culinary
team have been designing and testing new menus for the fleet’s flagship
restaurant, the Grand Dining Room. The menus in the Grand Dining Room change
daily, and in total, Garanger has created 85 new recipes for 14 different


One of Garanger’s latest creations: Zucchini-Wrapped Jumbo Shrimp with Parmesan Cheese and Angel Hair Pasta al Limone

“If you just copied other recipes or
used a cookbook, you could do this rollout in two months,” Garanger says. “But
we try to be unique in every single recipe we create, and that is a lengthy
process requiring the dedicated efforts of the entire team.”

6a0120a92e343a970b017d40c9e939970c-200wiSo what is Garanger’s creative process
for conceiving all of these unique recipes? “I start to think about the recipe
and then I start to make notes. Then I prepare it once. If I’m lucky, I only
have to prepare the dish three or four times before it’s finalized. But often I
have to try it eight or ten times before it’s perfect. And sometimes I give
up!” Garanger chuckles. “Sometimes I say, okay, this one is never going to work
– and then maybe it works a few years later. It happens sometimes.”

Garanger’s conception of the recipes is
only the first step in a launch of this scale. Once the recipes are designed, a
great deal of product research must be done to secure all of the new
ingredients. This is one of the challenges facing restaurants operating onboard
a ship versus restaurants ashore.

“Fresh products are purchased in every
port, and the availability changes depending on whether you’re in South America
or Europe or Asia, so the executive chefs have to plan ahead and make
adjustments,” Garanger explains. “Meanwhile, dry goods and frozen items are
delivered via shipping containers, which can take a long time to reach the
ship. If a container is traveling from Miami to Europe, it may take three
weeks. To ensure we have all the necessary ingredients for these new recipes,
we had to begin scheduling these shipments months in advance.”

Onboard restaurants are open seven days
a week, 365 days a year, another aspect of shipboard operations requiring
ingenuity in management. Galleys operate around the clock, and shifts must be
staffed accordingly. Training and oversight must be constant and diligent.


As an example of the team’s commitment
to the ingredients, design and process of recipes from start to finish,
consider the dinner baguette in the Grand Dining Room. Only the finest (and most
expensive) French flour is used – Viron flour harvested in the Beauce region –
because it has a lower gluten content and thus more flavor. The flour is
shipped direct from France, and each batch of dough goes through a two-stage
proofing process to release the full aromas of the flour. The dough is
refrigerated to proof overnight and then worked, formed into baguettes and
proofed again before baking. And this is just to create the dinner baguette,
one of thousands of items prepared onboard each day.

Here Garanger and Senior Executive
Chef Alexis Quaretti discuss the finer points of the baguette wafer that will
accompany the new Grand Dining Room dish: Cauliflower Panna Cotta with
Artichoke Salpicon, Tomato Coulis and Poblano Chili Aioli


Considering the complex methods required
to make an exceptional baguette, you can imagine how involved the process is
when launching entirely new menus for the Grand Dining Room. The rollout will
take nearly four months to complete across the entire fleet, with each ship
requiring a full cruise for initial implementation and another full cruise for
follow-up training.


The new dishes are a feast for the
senses. The flavor profiles are rich and diverse, and the presentation is


Beef Carpaccio with Fried Shallots, Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette



Baby Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail with Marie-Louise Sauce


Warm Duck Pâté in Puff Pastry with Port Wine Sauce


The new
menus also include an assortment of Canyon Ranch® Healthy Living
Choices that meet the Canyon Ranch standards for balanced nutrition from a wide
variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains and lean
proteins. The calories, fat grams and fiber grams for each Canyon Ranch
selection are included on the menu. If healthy living means eating dishes like
this, then I’m becoming a health nut!


Canyon Ranch Vegetable Caponata on Roasted Red Pepper Dressing with Crispy Sardinian Bread


Canyon Ranch Wild Salmon Tartare with Sushi Rice and Avocado


Having created so many exquisite dishes,
does Garanger have a personal favorite?

“My signature dish is my mashed
potatoes,” Garanger says. With the new rollout, Franck’s Mashed Potatoes will
always be available as a side in the Grand Dining Room, and you really must try
them. Absolute heaven!

“The pâté en croute on the new menu is
also very close to my heart,” Garanger continues. “This is a recipe from my
childhood for the classic dish that the French enjoy around the family table.” Here Franck prepares his Childhood Paté en Croute: French Family-Style Encrusted Paté with Smoked Ham
and Pheasant


you’ve visited the Grand Dining Room, you can only imagine the amazing
selection of delectable new dishes to be tasted. And the Grand Dining Room is
only one of four gourmet restaurants on Regatta
and Nautica and six restaurants on Marina and Riviera! When you reserve your next voyage with Oceania Cruises, I
suggest you make it a lengthy one, so you have plenty of time to sample all of
the spectacular cuisine!

One comment

  1. My husband and I returned Dec.27th from a fantastic cruise on the Marina. As a foodie and a vegetarian I was concerned….but for naught!! The best cruise food ever and I have been writing about our experience nearly weekly on my blog since our return. Sue (Food blogger, amateur chef and world traveler)

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