Cruise holidays are crafted right down to the smallest detail to ensure the ultimate luxury experience for holidaymakers. However, while some things such as themed nights and an array of nightly entertainment may be obvious, there are some smaller intricacies which take a lot of work, but may not be as noticeable.
According to Tom Götter, executive chef and head of Culinary for luxury cruise Scenic Eclipse, every route is unique, right down to smallest of snacks.
“Our dishes reflect the regions we travel to, incorporating local flavours and produce where possible,” he told Express.co.uk.
Chefs work hard to devise dishes which mirror the various port stops on each individual journey perfectly, for a truly authentic experience.
“With around 200 guests travelling on board Scenic Eclipse at a time, it’s possible to source local ingredients to create distinct, authentic recipes – something which is hugely rewarding and motivating for our Culinary Team.”
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Not only does this effort bring the nations included on the itinerary onboard each evening, but it also means supporting local producers in each region, and offers the opportunity for chefs to experiment with new ingredients.
“For example, when we sail to North America, I always get excited to source local ingredients from the markets of Quebec; their blueberries and mushrooms are unique to that coastline and really are something else,” Tom said.
“Scenic Eclipse truly does offer a passage to flavour, with our restaurants covering a plethora of culinary styles from across the globe,” he continued. “Relying on local produce, we offer both authentic dishes and exciting ‘fusion’ plates to our guests, ensuring that every dining experience brings memorable flavours and culinary encounters.”
For Scenic Eclipse kitchen staff, this means getting to come up with their own unique dishes, a far cry from the typical buffet you might expect.
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“One of our absolute rock-star dishes on board Scenic Eclipse has proven to be the Burrito Cigar,” said Tom.
“Since we developed it, it’s gone down a storm with diners, proving a real showstopper of a dish.
“It comprises of a combination of several kinds of beans, ground wagyu beef and avocado, which are rolled together using a special technique.
“Then, when it’s brought to the table, it’s lightly smoked in front of the guests and served with ‘vegetable ash’ in an ashtray.
“A very unique dish, it’s really something else.”
Tom continued: “I think many people underestimate the huge amount of work and organisation that goes on behind the scenes to bring guests such opulent and exciting dining experiences on the seas.
“Unlike for a restaurant on dry land, we need to source ingredients and create dishes ahead of time, which requires a lot of organisation and a higher understanding of local produce, seasonal variations in food, and the ports which are the most efficient for food deliveries.
“Balancing this requires a hugely experienced team, so guests can rest assured that every plate they sit down to has been lovingly made by an expert team.”
Though hard work is undoubtedly involved, for Tom it is a rewarding task and one he’s grateful to take on.
“Travelling the world, sampling new flavours, and pursuing your passion (for me, food) – what more could you ask for from your career?” said Tom.
“Journeying to different countries, exploring local produce and investigating markets will, to me, always be innately exciting.”
He added: “It’s unique experiences like this that make my job unlike any other, and the reason I’ve chosen this exciting career.”