Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

166 INTERVIEW Creating a culinary journey Franck Garanger gives Richard Humphreys an insight into new luxury lifestyle brand Explora Journeys’ vision for its food and beverage offering When Explora I, the first of six Explora Journeys ships, sets sail from Southampton, England, on 17 July 2023, guests will be able to enjoy a unique food and beverage experience. The ship will have 18 food and beverage venues, which will offer a range of signature dishes made with fresh ingredients, enabling guests to discover cuisines and flavours from around the world. Explora Journeys’ head of culinary Franck Garanger and his team have put a lot of work into creating menus and recipes, and testing and refining the dishes until they are perfect. “My job is to create a culinary concept based on our owner’s vision of exploration,” he says. “Explora Journeys wants to take a different approach to others in the industry, so we’re focusing on sustainability and promoting European products.” Garanger has travelled across Europe meeting suppliers of quality ingredients. “I selected a French company that produces organic chocolate that only comes from a cocoa bean farm in Cameroon – it’s amazing,” he says. “Our European travels even saw us select balsamic vinegar from a Swiss supplier.” To combine with the top-quality ingredients, particularly those sourced from Europe, Explora Journeys’ culinary team has undertaken training from various institutions to ensure it produces special dishes. “We’re trying to bring a high-quality product to our guests so we can create a culinary world where they come in and learn something,” says Garanger. “It’s exploration and a unique way of approaching food. We’re not trying to be complicated, we’re keeping it very simple and focusing on the product.” In the elegant food court Emporium Marketplace, for instance, guests will be able to choose from various destination-inspired dishes, such as sushi, pasta cooked to order, charcuterie and fromagerie boards, as well as fresh juices, smoothies and acai bowls. Explora Journeys will be a cruise line for those that enjoy quality dishes. Frank Garanger (far right) and his culinary team have developed menus for Explora’s fleet of ships