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Top Chef: Onboard for a fine dining experience on Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises is renowned for the quality of its onboard dining, thanks to talented chefs like Frédéric Godineau.

The sweeping stable of culinary offerings onboard Oceania Cruises has created a playground of restaurants across its fleet. Here is where you will find menus, dishes and venues that are akin to Michelin-starred restaurants. 

Every recipe has been proudly crafted by Oceania Cruises’ talented and innovative team, and each dish is a study in age-old culinary technique and tradition, drawing on inspiration from the destinations to which the line sails. 

Visiting more than 450 ports of call across the Mediterranean, northern Europe, Asia and more, Oceania Cruises offers its discerning guests exclusive culinary tours that offer insider experiences of the local culinary scene. Whether it’s joining a cooking demonstration at a Venetian master chef’s private villa or travelling off the beaten path to tropical plantations on a French Polynesian island, Oceania Cruises connects you with the culinary culture wherever you travel.

Just recently, the line revealed its latest collection of OceaniaNEXT enhancements, including new dishes from its chefs, inspired by what they serve at their Sunday family dinners. Frédéric Godineau, senior executive chef onboard Riviera, speaks to Cruise & Travel about his inspiration, and where he’s loved to visit with Oceania Cruises.

What’s your favourite dish on board Oceania Cruises? 

The duck and watermelon salad that is served in Red Ginger on our O-Class ships is exquisite. It has a delicious combination between the duck, the watermelon and the fresh herbs, seasoned to perfection using traditional secrets of pan-Asian cuisine.

What’s your favourite destination?

I love to visit southern Europe during summertime. Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece all have something unique and different in terms of cuisine and culture.

What has been your biggest inspiration in the kitchen? 

To go to a local market, find the producers and taste their products, and to then find the best way to accommodate those ingredients, from the right season, the right pairings, and a simple yet creative way to present them to our guests onboard.

Where did you learn how to cook? 

I did an apprenticeship, working and studying at the same time. I do believe that I am still learning every day from the people I am meeting onboard Oceania Cruises, as well as the different countries we are exploring ashore. 

What’s your earliest memory of food? 

The chocolate mousse my grandmother used to make on Wednesdays when we were not at school. I am still recreating it as soon as I get a chance to when I visit my home country, but with a modern twist. 

Menu

Entrée 

Maine lobster cassolette with tarragon and sea urchin bisque

Can you describe the dish? 

Maine lobster, shell off, lightly poached and served with a sea urchin bisque, with diced root vegetables, a dash of whipped cream, sprinkled with piment d’Espelette and chopped tarragon.

What’s so special about this dish? 

It’s an interesting way to eat Maine lobster – diced and poached – and the combination creates a unique tasting experience.

What’s the inspiration behind the dish? 

Another interesting pairing with ingredients that you would not think of combining in a dish at once. 

What wine should the dish be paired with? 

Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay, Carneros, California

Where are the ingredients sourced from?

Maine lobster; the piment d’Espelette originates from the French Basque region.

 

Main 

Filet de sole Brillat-Savarin

Can you describe the dish? 

Dover sole fillet stuffed with a delicate fish and scallop mousseline and French black truffle, served with a white wine sauce.

What’s so special about this dish? 

This is a perfect combination between the delicate flavours of the sole, the scallops and the black truffle.

What’s the inspiration behind the dish? 

This dish was created for La Cuisine Bourgeoise, a unique experience showcasing French cuisine, served tableside. Typically named ‘Service à la Française’, the dishes are presented on a silver tray, and then served in front of guests from a gueridon table. 

What wine should the dish be paired with? 

Louis Latour Morey-Saint-Denis Pinot Noir, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

Where are the ingredients sourced from?

We source the French black truffle from the famed Périgord area.

Dessert

Omelette Sibérienne

What’s so special about this dish? 

This is a unique way of reinventing the traditional baked Alaska, but with ingredients that you would not usually pair in a dessert. The chestnuts and the pear are separated by a thin layer of chocolate inside, using fresh poached pears that balance beautifully with the Italian meringue. 

What’s the inspiration behind the dish?

To create a more contemporary and surprising take on the original baked Alaska recipe. The dish is served tableside, sliced in front of our guests by the pastry chef.

What wine should the dish be paired with? 

Pazo de Villarei Abadía do Seixo Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain

Where are the ingredients sourced from?

We use chestnuts for this dessert as well as dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa. The other ingredients are more common and can be easily sourced during our voyages.