MSC Cruises has recently transformed the buffet restaurants on board MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia and MSC Poesia. With the help of famous Italian food designer Paolo Barichella and lifestyle designers Enocultura, the buffet area has been restyled around new concepts of presentation and service, offering guests a sensational casual dining experience morning, noon and night.

MSC Cruises has also recently introduced more flexible opening times for the buffet service, with buffet restaurants across the fleet now open non-stop for 20 hours a day, from 6:00 until 2:00, meaning that guests can now satisfy their rumbling stomachs at any time of the day and into the small hours of the morning, with no extra charge. As room service is available 24 hours a day, MSC Cruises has made sure that every hour of the day is covered.

True to its Mediterranean roots, MSC Cruises believes that good food is a way of life and wants guests to experience its Mediterranean approach to dining and to enjoy a vast choice of different proposals wherever and whenever they want to eat.

“The idea behind the new buffet was not only to increase the quality of service and variety of fresh choices, but to create a real gastronomic experience and reshape the way we present food on board,” said Enrico Borniotto, General Manager of MSC Italcatering.

“Guests can now enjoy watching our skilled chefs prepare a range of fresh dishes, from MSC’s signature authentic Italian pizzas and breads to perfect sautéed pasta and tasty cuts of meat. Aside from redesigning the area in terms of decoration, we essentially tried to bring onboard the concept of the visible kitchen. Some guests cannot imagine that most of the food is fresh on such big ships and that pasta, pizza, bread and desserts are handmade. This is an extraordinary added value and should be presented to guests with great pride.”

“Restyling the buffet areas of the MSC fleet was an exciting project for me,” said food designer Paolo Barichella. “I am used to working with restaurants and chefs from all over the world, but this was my very first experience of working for a cruise company. This restyled area will enable guests to discover MSC’s high quality, fresh products in a holistic way.”

The redesigned buffet now includes many different speciality corners, arranged in an appealing way and with a more intuitive feel for guests trying to decide what delicious dishes to pick.

Fruit and vegetables are now sliced and diced in front of guests at the salad and fruit corner, where fresh products are arranged by colour to help guests get the necessary five a day, the ‘colour way’.

The carving show corner provides delicious cuts of meat from turkey to beef, while beef burgers, hotdogs, chips and a selection of sandwiches, piadina wraps and traditional focaccias can be found at the grill take away corner.

Various types of delicious homemade bread, from breadsticks to bread rolls, bretzel buns, rye bread, French baguettes, seed bread rings, grissini, and artistic MSC logo breads can be found at the bakery corner, and guests can even enjoy watching MSC bakers producing the daily selection of bread at the special bakery show corner.

MSC’s authentic Margherita pizza, as well as a pizza of the day, puff pastry jalousie and stuffed calzoni can be found at the pizza corner, while the pasta station offers up different pastas cooked directly in front of guests, including pasta au gratin, home-made stuffed pasta, and ravioli and tortellini.

The Mediterranean corner provides a large selection of traditional cheeses, including provolone, gorgonzola, gouda, grana padano, ricotta, mozzarella, brie, and camembert, as well as cuts of high quality origin-certified cured hams, Mortadella and salami, ready to be carved in front of guests.

Children will be delighted with the specially conceived children’s corner, where they can find a special selection of healthy and tasty items adapted for kids’ taste buds. MSC’s youngest guests will also enjoy the dessert corner, where different sweet treats including cakes, crème bavaroises, cupcakes, puddings, tarts and moussestake pride of place every day.

Five different daily dishes can be found at the daily specials corner, offering a full menu including soup, pasta gratin and sautéed pasta, rice and hot dishes with meat, fish and vegetables, while speciality recipes from a diverse range of countries including Morocco, Spain, Greece, Indonesia, China, Mexico and India can be found at the ethnic corner, which offers four different choices from the daily country of choice.

Finally, guests can find the perfect wine or soft drink for their meal on the tailor-made buffet bar list and at the beverage station, which offers a wide variety of hot and cold drinks.

The redesigned buffet is currently available onboard MSC Splendida and will be onboard MSC Fantasia and MSC Poesia before they leave Genoa for Brazilian and US shores this month. The project will be rolled out across the whole fleet by summer 2013.