The diversity presented on Remy’s menu on the Disney Dream and Fantasy is a the result of a natural collaboration between Chef Arnaud Lallement from l'Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin 2-star restaurant just outside Reims, France, and Chef Scott Hunnel, from Victoria & Albert's at Walt Disney World Resort.
But that didn’t come easy, as Ozer Balli, vice president of hotel operations for Disney Cruise Line, explained finding two chefs willing to work together was no simple task.
“Scott has a tremendous personality and is open-minded and very flexible,” said Balli, who recently became president of the Marine Hotel Association. “I interviewed more than a handful of Michelin-star chefs. During the interviews it was evident that these chefs were great individually, but may not work well with others.”
Almost two years before the steel was cut on Disney Dream, Balli and his team came up with the concept of a French restaurant with a Michelin chef, a natural evolution of Disney’s dining program, he said.
In addition to Disney’s chef duo, the rest of the staff at Remy is managed differently, with unique contracts, more training and more experience required.
Thus, the cruise line requires Michelin-star experience in the restaurant.
“It is very important we develop and train the crew for Remy and stay true to the overall concept,” Balli said.
Most of Remy’s tables are sold out before sailings, with some reserved for concierge guests. Balli said that Disney staggers the dinner serving.
On sea days, the Dream and Fantasy now feature a brunch experience at Remy.
“That is a natural progression of the offerings on Remy as well as the demand.”
For the future, Balli is working on setting up question and answer periods when the chefs are onboard – but not just for Remy’s clientele, but perhaps in one of the lounges for the entire ship
As for the future of Remy?
“It will evolve with the evolution of the chefs,” answered Balli. “The restaurant and concept will evolve as the chefs expand their repertoire in the culinary market.
>> Also in this section: in-depth updates on cruise lines and their F&B programs.