A culinary legend among legends, Master Chef Jacques Pépin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, wrote an encyclopedic guide to French cooking that has become a classic among professional chefs, has charmed an entire nation with his many PBS cooking series – and as you may know, has been our Executive Culinary Director since the beginning. Curious about what this culinary guru and beloved chef orders when he dines aboard our ships? Us too. We sat down with him to find out which dishes catch his eye time and time again.
The Grand Dining Room
The surf and turf is one of my favorites. Beautiful filet mignon with great lobster tail. And you can’t find it done better in any of the restaurants in New York, you know.
Jacques Bistro (at The Grand Dining Room during lunch)
Salade Niçoise with a glass of rosé, of course!
At my namesake restaurant, there is no great food without great wine. A little bit of Bordeaux has to go with it. I have to have escargot, of course – that classic French dish. The bouillabaisse is a favorite and we also have beautiful roast chicken – a must. For dessert, I like to go with the baba au rhum, which is like a very nice sponge cake soaked in dark rum.
When it’s in the evening, I have the tapas, which I love, and the paella is terrific with the rice and saffron different types of shrimp in it and chorizo. The prosciutto is excellent, and there is always terrific cheese available.
I always enjoy the lobster pad Thai. It’s become an Oceania Cruises favorite for a very good reason.
Polo Grill is one of my favorite restaurants since I love steak. I mean I’ve had veal shank here, a grilled veal shank which was really extraordinary. And the Angus steak – you can’t beat that. It’s aged properly; it’s done right. You will never be disappointed with a baked potato here or with the prosciutto and melon or shrimp cocktail to start. You can tell it’s one of my favorites, no?
So you know in a place like Toscana, a real Italian restaurant, there is a great array of pasta and you really can’t go wrong. I mean from linguine cioppino, linguine with clams and black mussels and shrimp to the ravioli, and then there is the gnocchi …the gnocchi with the pesto which is just out of this world – the best that I’ve ever had. I also really enjoy the carpaccio, you know the fillet of beef very thinly sliced with fresh basil on top. I mean all I can say is – it’s an embarrassment of riches.