Today, we’re back with our series highlighting the many talented and innovative chefs on the Oceania Cruises culinary team. We recently caught up with Executive Chef Farid Oudir to learn about his early beginnings in the culinary world, his favorite dish and more.
Was there a specific moment early on in which you knew you wanted to become a chef?
I was raised in a family that food was central to the home. My father is Algerian and my mother is French, so, we always cooked combining both cultures. Also, having an older brother who was a chef influenced me as I was always in the kitchen observing the preparation, tasting the ingredients and cooking the food. When I became an apprentice that was when I knew I had found my passion to become a chef.
What is your favorite dish?
We have so many delicious recipes on board, however, what I love the most is to go ashore to the open-air markets and create a dish reflecting a specific port of call during the voyage. When I am not working, traditional couscous will always be a favorite – my heritage is Arabic, and my father always prepared this for Sunday lunch. This is one of my fondest childhood memories.
What region is the best culinary destination in your opinion?
Even though I am French I am always open to new cultures and tastes. France has amazing culinary history and culture, but I also admire the restaurants, markets and variety that are available across Southern California. From Los Angeles to San Diego you can experience nearly every cuisine on the planet.
What do you love 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.
About Executive Chef Farid Oudir
Hailing from Le Mans in Western France, Chef Oudir started cooking as a teenager and by age 17 was working in a French restaurant in Germany. After spending time in England, he returned to his native France where he gained skills as a renowned specialist in the art of making fresh foie gras. After bringing his considerable talents to restaurants in France and Luxembourg, the sea beckoned where Chef Oudir worked on several ships before returning shoreside to raise his newborn son. But the allure of the world’s oceans drew him back to sea in 2007, when he joined Oceania Cruises where he continues to delight guests with his culinary artistry. When not at sea, he visits his family in Southern California and spends time with his son Oscar in the village of Cordemais in the French countryside of Brittany.