Explora Journeys Appoints Franck Garanger as Head of Culinary

Franck Garanger

Explora Journeys, MSC Group’s luxury cruise brand, has appointed Franck Garanger as Head of Culinary to curate and define nine distinct culinary experiences onboard its new ship, the Explora I.

According to a press release, Explora Journeys has a mission to “ensure its guests can immerse themselves in the ‘Ocean State of Mind’.” The cruise line said that it is focused on healthy, delicious food from local, sustainable sources.

The appointment of Garanger solidifies this focus, according to the press release.

“Explora Journeys isn’t just an opportunity to discover the world, we also see it as a way for our guests to taste it too, actively discovering new cuisines and experiences. Franck’s pedigree in European luxury, combined with his passion for true cooking will shape the evolution of how dining at sea can be transformed. Blending flavors from all over the globe with ingredients that have been hand-selected and sourced by Franck himself will ensure that every guest leaves their journey not just with memories from the places they have visited, but from some of the finest cuisines at sea,” said CEO Explora Journeys, Michael Ungerer.

Garanger discovered his passion for cooking from a “young age” and began his culinary career, Explora said. He was born in Angers, located in the Loire Valley, and grew up helping his father in his patisserie-boulangerie.

Despite a love of pastry, at 16, Garanger decided to broaden his culinary horizons and trained at the Michelin Star restaurant, Le Vert D'Eau, in Angers as an apprentice for two years under the French Master Chef Jean-François Piers. Explora said that it was there where his culinary mastery “began to shine” and he got nominated as one of the best 10 young chefs of his generation.

Garanger has also worked at different locations alongside notable culinary names like Paul Bocuse, Alain Passard and Thierry Marx. Combining his love for cooking and his desire to explore the world, Garanger became Chef de Partie onboard Silversea Cruises, where he was promoted to Executive Chef onboard and then to Fleet Corporate Chef, a position he held for four years before he took a position as Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises.

Garanger said he took up the role of Head of Culinary at Explora Journeys because of “a level of European Luxury that offers a different perspective in the world of luxury ocean experiences.” Garanger sees his move as both a new challenge and opportunity to start from a “blank canvas and show the world what food at sea really can be.”

Asked how will achieve success, Garanger said: “you can see it not just in the food but in the eyes of the chefs. Once a team is proud, they will deliver at their best.”

Explora Journeys’ nine dining options are set to “embrace authenticity, with every detail curated by Franck,” the cruise line stated. The cruise line said that Garanger’ mission for his role with Explora Journeys is “to earn recognition for serving the best food at sea and building a story, through traveling the world and tasting it.”

“Franck believes that matching menus to meet the mood of the guests onboard as well as incorporating an array of plant-based and vegetarian dishes, an aspect of cooking he specializes in personally, will be paramount to bringing personality, sophistication and integrity to dining at sea,” Explora wrote.

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