Setting sail in December, Galicia promises to be a taste sensation, fusing together our love for quality and flavour – with a hint of Spain. Here Brittany Ferries’ Catering Manager, Patrice Pantalini, and Galicia’s Head Chef, Michel Taloc, share a little bit more about the inspiration behind our new ship’s innovative (and delicious) dining experience.
With many years working with Brittany Ferries – both on board and ashore – Patrice Pantalini, is the cornerstone of the Brittany Ferries catering team. When describing what he and his team wanted to achieve with Galicia, he said: “We’re passionate about offering our customers a unique dining experience as they sail aboard Galicia. We want them to start and end their holiday by discovering the foods and flavours of the regions we serve – Brittany, Normandy, Cantabria, the Basque Country – and beyond!
He continues, “When we started to compose the menus for the Azur restaurant, the Taberna de Tapas, the Plaza Mayor bar, and the C-Club lounge, we set off to explore the gastronomy of our regions, with several key aims in mind:
To offer our passengers a high-quality dining experience
To make the most of the skills and creativity of our chefs
To source the best products from our regions – from Brittany to Galicia, passing via the sea – to create a journey in taste
To showcase Spain’s speciality dishes, with an emphasis on the tapas typical of each region
To play a part in the life of our regions by inspiring people to visit them"
When describing how they achieved this, Michel, also an experienced Brittany Ferries chef, continues: “We started our exploration by approaching local producers and cooperatives for ingredients and wines. We uncovered some of our regions’ finest produce: from anchovies and tuna from Santoña, to the prized olive oils of Xeres, to the organic rice demanded by the best paellas, to local cheeses made by shepherds, and to fruits ripened by the Spanish sun. When it came to vegetables of course, we made Brittany our priority, sourcing produce form our farmer-shareholders.
We were struck by just how close these regions were in terms of culture and food, and by their deep respect for tradition – particularly in Brittany and Galicia. But one difference became clear. In the north of Spain, cuisine remains very much centred around the home and the family, with an emphasis on quality local produce and local recipes. In France meanwhile over the last 30 years or so the nouvelle cuisine movement has placed an emphasis on presentation, as well as flavour.”
Patrice excitedly concludes, “This realisation gave us an idea. Why not combine the two approaches? So, guests dining in the Azul restaurant will enjoy a truly bespoke, original experience – an adventure in food and wine, borne of our creativity, on which every one of Galicia’s passengers sailing to and from Spain can enjoy.”
“When you sit down to eat, you’ll become a part of our Brittany Ferries family, joining our culinary adventure, with one breakfast and one dinner, all included in the price of the cruise.” Patrice Pantalini, Brittany Ferries Catering Manager