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Q: Chef Alban, thanks so much for your time. Can you tell us what your role as VP Food and Beverage, Explora Journeys, entails?

A: As the Vice President of Food and Beverage at Explora Journeys my role includes ensuring the delivery of food and beverage excellence.

From meticulously curating tantalising menus to overseeing the seamless execution into the operations, my mission is to deliver an unparalleled dining experience that exceeds expectations for our guests.

Q: You’ve worked in the cruise industry for many years. What is it about cruising that particularly appeals to you?

A: The attraction of cruising is that it weaves together my passion for gastronomy and wanderlust. It is the harmonious fusion of flavours and the exploration of diverse destinations that truly enthrals me.

The magnificence of cruise ships serves as the backdrop to create extraordinary culinary experiences, immersing guests in a sensory journey.

Q: You’ve been with Explora since 2022. What was it about the company that attracted you and how are you finding working with them?

A: The company’s unwavering commitment to crafting unforgettable journeys and pushing the boundaries of possibility enticed me from the very beginning.

Collaborating with this great team has been an enriching voyage, allowing me to bring forth my food and beverage expertise and contribute to the creation of extraordinary dining and bar offerings that leave a mark on our guests’ hearts.

Q: What are some of the particular challenges of preparing meals at sea?

A: The limited confines of a ship’s galley and the unpredictable nature of the open waters pose unique challenges that demand meticulous planning, seamless logistics and an extraordinary culinary team.

Balancing consistency, taste and quality while harmonising with the ever-changing maritime environment is an art that requires an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Q: Dining on a cruise ship used to be thought of as all buffets and bain-maries but the culinary experience onboard has come a long way since then, wouldn’t you agree?

A: The culinary landscape onboard cruise ships has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis, transcending the realms of traditional buffets and bain-maries to cater to the discerning palates of modern travellers.

A renaissance of gastronomy has swept across the decks, ushering in a new era of culinary sophistication with an overabundance of global delights.

Q: You were recently inducted into the prestigious Académie Culinaire de France. That must have been a huge honour and recognition of your skill.

A: The induction into the revered Académie Culinaire de France is an honour that resonates deeply within my culinary soul. It serves as a validation of the countless hours spent honing my craft.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the unparalleled tapestry of gastronomy.

Q: Being a chef, I have to ask you whether you have a favourite dish?

A: To choose a single dish as a culinary lover is next to impossible. However, if pressed, the classic Italian or French delicacies of coq au vin and Chioppino hold a special place in my heart. Their timeless elegance, rich flavours and artful preparation showcase the essence of Italian and French gastronomy.

Q: Finally, if you could choose a meal at one restaurant anywhere in the world, what would it be and where would it be?

A: The world beckons with countless culinary treasures awaiting discovery but if I had to choose one it would have to be the unparalleled splendour of the Mediterranean where I would find myself at the illustrious Ammoudi Fish Tavern in Santorini.