At 88 years of age, Jacques Pepin has finally decided to “semi-retire from Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary-focused line. In his place, Oceania has appointed, not one but two Master chefs of France – Alexis Quaretti and Eric Barale as executive culinary directors.

The Bay scallops dish as one of the specialties of chef Jacques Pepin.
Bay scallops dish served at the Grand Dining Room.

Pepin will remain as culinary adviser to the line but will spend more time on his philanthropic work, The Jacques Pepin Foundation of which Oceania is a key supporter and partner since its inception.

Pepin was the founding father of Oceania’s culinary philosophy: The Finest Cuisine at Sea. He joined Oceania in 2003 as Executive Culinary Director and in 2009, the first Jacques restaurant was launched on board Marina.

Chef Jacques Pepin discusses the art of of baking baguettes.
Chef Jacques Pepin (right) on the finer points of baking baguettes

“Chefs Alex and Eric are the next generation of our culinary innovation and will continue the evolution of our foodie story, carrying forward Jacques’ incredible legacy,” said Frank A Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises.

Chef Alex as one of Oceania's newly appointed executive culinary directors.
Chef Alex at work

With the line’s newest ship, Allura launching next year, Oceania will have eight ships in its fleet with more than 40 restaurants constantly circulating the globe and having these two talented executive culinary directors at the helm means we can maintain our laser focus on serving The Finest Cuisine at Sea,” added Mr Del Rio.

Mr Pepin said: “I am so proud to be passing the baton to these two phenomenally talented chefs who have worked alongside me for the past 20 years.”

For more information on Oceania Cruises’ food-focused itineraries click here.