A bright contemporary culinary personality, Franck Garanger draws upon his wealth of experience and rare culinary artistry as he oversees all culinary operations aboard Oceania Cruises’ 5-Star fleet.
Garanger’s experience stems from his tenures at the 5-Star Palace Hotel on the French Riviera, the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, Antibes, and extensive work with such culinary greats as Paul Bocuse, Alain Passard and Thierry Marx. Garanger’s ability has also been recognized by world leaders such Nelson Mandela and the King of Jordan, amongst others, for whom he has created private dinners. His mastery was recognized at an early age when he finished his first years of training and was nominated as one of the best ten young Chefs of his generation. This award only hinted at Garanger’s talents as he went on to reach the final of the French national competition for apprentice chefs in 1986.
Franck’s passion for cuisine began in his father’s patisserie-boulangerie, in the Loire Valley (France). The disciplines and nature of cooking learnt at this early age inspired Franck and his career began as an apprentice in a Michelin Star restaurant “Le Vert D’Eau” in Angers with French Master Chef Jean-François Piers
By 1994 Franck decided to expand his knowledge further and joined Silversea Cruises, within four years, he had been promoted to the position of Corporate Chef for this world renowned cruise line
Since June 2003, Garanger shares Oceania Cruises’ passion for serving only the finest cuisine at sea and in devising menus, he has combined his mastery of cooking techniques with an unequivocal knowledge of blending flavors from all around the globe.
Garanger’s culinary vision reflects an individual and personal style that unites the influences he gained through years of traveling.
He has also received critical acclaim in the luxury cruise industry where he achieved international accolades for cuisine including such prestigious culinary awards as the “Culinary Award of America in 2001” and “Number One Ranking for Cuisine” by both Cruise Week and Conde Nast Traveler Magazines.
Franck was recently awarded membership as a French Master Chef in the prestigious Maîtres Cuisiniers de France 2008.
The Chefs Connection: What was your first job in food?
Garanger Franck: I was an apprentice in a Michelin star restaurant at « le vert d’eau » Angers loire Valley with Jean-Francois Piers (maître cuisiniers de france)
TCC : When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
GF: I wanted to be a bartender or motorcycle champion or hard rock singer.
TCC: What’s your favorite thing about being a chef?
GF: Sharing love and passion for food. Discovering the world of food and transmitting knowledge and experiences to younger generation.
TCC: Did you have an “aha” moment when you knew you wanted to be a chef?
GF: After a few hours of being in a Michelin star restaurant in training, I developed a mix of passion, arts and the respect for the Chef.
TCC: What’s the best advice you ever got?
GF: When two paths open to you, always choose the most difficult, the one who will demand the best of you. (Tibetan proverb)
TCC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
GF: Any food from my mother in law….
TCC: What’s your favorite ingredient?
GF: Vegetables without any hesitation
TCC: What’s is the ingredient that turns you off the most?
GF: Italian white Alba truffle
TCC: What’s is your favorite tool?
GF: My Japanese knives
TCC: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not cooking?
GF: Ultra-trail marathon
TCC: What would you like to do before you get too old to do it?
GF: I am very lucky, that I don’t get old
TCC: Tell us a deep dark secret (doesn’t have to be food related).
GF: I don’t cook meat anymore
TCC: How do you deal with the stress?
GF: Meditation and running
TCC: Tell us a funny story from the kitchen.
GF: The day I received 2 containers in port of Haifa (Israel) before the ship sails for Africa and the dry container was plugged in frozen and the frozen container was unplugged for 3 weeks.
TCC: Who would you like to meet?
GF: I had the chance to meet Nelson Mandela and cook for him, difficult to find better person but Dalai Lama would be at the same level of satisfaction if I could meet him.
TCC: Who would you like to cook for?
GF: My parents
TCC: What was the hardest thing for you to learn? Or is there something you just can’t get right?
GF: Molecular gastronomy
TCC: Is there some little something you do for your family to make up for the time you’re not with them?
GF: This is a difficult question as I am very often away from them. I always try to get back the time lost with them, but just love to cook for my son and daughter.
TCC: How did becoming a chef change your life? Your direction.
GF: Respect for the planet and the product and the one working hard to offer great ingredients. As chef, many people are listening to us, we have to pass this message and fight against food industry.