Executive Chef Frederic Godineau draws on his experience to fill each dish he prepares with his passion for the culinary world. We sat down with Frederic to find out how he decided to become a chef, his favorite culinary destinations and more.
Was there a specific moment early on in which you knew you wanted to become a chef?
My grandmother used to say when I was little that she knew I was going to become a chef when I grew up because I would play for hours with the salad spinner when she took care of me. Deep inside, I was born to be a chef.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time or when you are on vacation from work?
Interesting fact, I’m also a Firefighter Volunteer in France. I know it may sound odd as it’s something so different from cooking, but I like helping people in difficult situations, because it puts my life in perspective. It makes my troubles seem so small compared to others.
Which city is your top culinary destination?
Paris. It’s my favorite place – a melting pot of cultures, where you can find both trendy and traditional restaurants; it’s a city I never get tired of.
Is there an underrated culinary destination that you would recommend guests explore?
Portugal! There are 365 ways to eat bacalhau – the Portuguese word for cod fish.
What do you love about your work aboard Oceania Cruises?
Waking up every morning in a new country amid a new culture and learning from the people you meet every day. Most of all, I love discovering new recipes and culinary surprises for our guests.
About Executive Chef Frederic Godineau
Born in the Loire Valley of France, Frederic Godineau entered the culinary world at age 14, when he completed a two-year apprenticeship program in France. He later moved to England for a year to learn English, and then continued his culinary training in France and Portugal where he discovered different cooking styles and realized he loved cooking because of the opportunity it awarded him to immerse himself in a new culture with every dish he prepared.
While serving for the military in his country, Frederic had the opportunity to prepare meals for the minister of defense in Paris. Afterward, he started climbing the ranks of the restaurant world, having worked in 1, 2 and 3-starred Michelin restaurants in Paris. But it was in 1999, when he worked for his first cruise line, that he fell in love with the experience. Frederic joined the Oceania Cruises family in 2015.