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Phylliscooks:
Culinary Silversea Corporate Chef prepares gourmet, healthy meals at sea

Phyllis Steinberg


Phyllis Steinberg is a food and travel writer in Florida. Her food columns appear in several papers in South Florida, including the Sun-Sentinel, Coral Springs Forum, Boca Raton Times, Delray Times and Boynton Beach Times.


Silversea Cruise Line's Corporate Chef, Franck Garanger, 33, is receiving words of praise from passengers on the six-star floating resorts for his gourmet and healthy cuisine. And after tasting some of his creations, I understand why!

Garangers' savory cuisine tempts the eyes as well as the palate. In a recent interview, Garanger talked about the extraordinary cuisine aboard Silversea ships.

"Silversea has an exclusive partnership with Relais & Chateaux-Relais Gourmands. We feature gala dinners, signature dishes, and regional specialties created by distinguished chefs, including Michelin rated masters from Relais & Chateaux-Relais Gourmands boutique properties and restaurants from around the world. This gives passengers an opportunity to taste the signature creations and learn first-hand from the chefs of some of the world's most sought after restaurants," Garanger said.

Chef Christopher Muller, Chef de Cuisine of Paul Bocuse Restaurant in France recently was a recent guest chef on board the Silversea Silver Whisper during a Mediterranean cruise and showed passengers how to prepare Roasted Chilean Seabass with Le Puy Lentils and Smoked Duck Magret with the help of Garanger who translated the instructions from the French chef into English for passengers. The dishes were paired with appropriate wines and served to guests upon completion of the cooking demonstrations under the supervision of the ship's Head Sommelier, Gabriele Chiappini.

Garanger, who designs menus for Silverseas' Silver Whisper, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, is a native of Angers, the jewel of the Loire Valley in France.

In a recent interview, Garanger said he grew up learning the discipline and nature of cooking from his father, in the family bakery.

After apprenticing as a cook in one of Michelin's star restaurants in Angers, Garanger finished his first years of training by being nominated as one of the best 10 young Chefs of his generation. Garanger went on to reach the finals of the French national competition for apprentice chefs in 1986.

He continued his training by working in the Five-Star Palace hotel on the French Riviera, the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc in Antibes. Garanger joined Silversea Cruise Lines in 1994 as a Pastry Chef and moved to Saucier and Sous Chef positions before becoming Executive Chef. In 1999, he was promoted to the position of Corporate Chef.

As Corporate Chef for Silversea, Garanger is in charge of all aspects of culinary service including recruitment of galley staff, supply of ingredients, creation of menus and organizing special events.

And his goal for the cuisine on board all Silversea Cruises is to "keep the food as close as possible to a fine restaurant while serving nearly 300 people a day ."

Whenever possible, Garanger said chefs on Silversea Cruises go to the market to buy fresh ingredients while in port.

"While we are in a certain region, we also prepare cuisine for guests that are typical for that region, allowing guests to experience a wide variety of cuisines from around the world," Garanger said.

Many passengers aboard Silversea Cruises are on board for a month or two at a time and they need to have healthy choices on the menu as well as gourmet dishes that are laden with calories. I asked the chef about healthy cuisine aboard Silversea vessels.

"I have created a menu selection for each meal that is a healthy choice, lower in fat, sugar and low cholesterol, but even our regular menu is prepared with the passengers' health in mind. We avoid too much cream and reduce the amount of cream and butter in our dishes. We also substitute healthy ingredients for those high in fat and calories and trim off fat from our meats for all our dishes," Garanger said.

Garanger also has cut portion size for entrees. "Guests can order another entrée if they want more food, but we want to save them room for our desserts," he said.

There is also a vegetarian selection on each menu. Kosher food is also available, but guests wishing to sail on Silversea Cruises, must inform the ship six weeks ahead of time if they want kosher food for the duration of their cruise.

Below are two of the tasty creations that guests were taught to prepare on Silversea's Silver Whisper cruise ship. Wines pared with the dishes were Sancerre, Pascal Jolivet, Loire Valley, France, 2000 for the Seabass and Domaine Du Vieux Lazaret, Chateauneuf-Du Paper, Rhone Valley, France, 2000 for the Sauteed Chicken.


Featured Recipes:  (click to view)

> Roasted Chilean Seabass with Smoke Duck Magret and Lentils

> Sauteed Chicken with Vinegar and Tarragon Sauce

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