a group of purple flowers in a field

Mastering the Tastes of Provence

Tantalising tastes are just one of the pleasures of cruising in France. Keep your eyes open for Fabien Morreale, French 'Top Chef', who will be a special guest chef on board. Fabien, who is a very accomplished young chef, owns two restaurants and a boulangerie-pâtisserie in Provence. In 2013 he was a finalist in France's 'Top Chef' and in 2017, he will be a guest chef for travellers on Emerald Liberté. We chatted to him for insights into what we can expect from him on the cruise.

You've been a chef since you were 19. Tells us about your inspirations.

My first inspiration was chef Pacal Ginoux. We used to pick vegetables in his garden and this gave me a love for fresh, organic and seasonal ingredients. After my Diploma in Hospitality, I earned a Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (technician certificate) in culinary arts and then worked with starred chefs in top restaurants. At the time I was on the verge of opening my own restaurant so I travelled abroad to improve my English and improve my cooking techniques.

We're looking forward to having you as a special guest chef on Emerald Liberté. What attracted you to the role?

I liked the idea of introducing the products of my region - Provence - and sharing my roots, values, and traditions with international guests. I hope guests will discover the tastes of Provence through modern and creative recipes.

What can our guests expect when you're on board?

They'll discover flavourful and colourful dishes based on local products. I value presentation and the aesthetic of my dishes, so they'll be a feast for the eyes as well.

What is your favourite dish to cook for your family?

Confit of ox cheek, my daughter loves it!

Where is your favourite place to visit?

I loved Sydney and Bondi Beach for its laid back atmosphere and vibe. In London, I really enjoyed the Mayfair area as it's always busy and bustling.

Where would you like to visit next?

I'm dreaming of Japan and South Korea and I'll plan a trip soon.

You've had a fascinating career to date and must have some intriguing stories. Can you tell us one?

I was filming a TV show dedicated to products from the South of France with the starred chef Cyril Lignac. I cooked a recipe for poutrargue spaghetti. Unfortunately the chef hates poutargue (paste of mullet roe) but in front of the camera he had to taste the dish and pretend to like it!

How would you describe your mother's cooking?

My mum's cooking is very simple but always savoury. I wouldn't say my dishes are better, but they are different and more elaborate!