Oceania Cruises Names New Executive Culinary Directors

Chef Alexis Quaretti and Chef Eric Barale named Executive Culinary Directors.

Read on to get to know more about these Chefs! 

As Oceania Cruises was created by foodies, for foodies, we are proud to be the only cruise line with two Master Chefs of France on our culinary team: Chef Alexis Quaretti and Chef Eric Barale. After years of dedication to crafting The Finest Cuisine at Sea® for our guests, these two talented chefs have just been named our Executive Culinary Directors.


Get To Know Chef Alexis Quaretti

Chef Alex had a passion for the culinary arts from a young age. As a boy growing up in Fontainebleau outside of Paris, he would cook with his grandmother and learned to prepare simple comfort foods made with love. He began his career at some of the best restaurants in the world, including the 1-Michelin-star Château de Marçay, the 3-Michelin-star L'Arpège, and the 2-Michelin-star La Pyramide.


Chef Alex joined Oceania Cruises in 2004 and quickly moved through the culinary ranks. Prior to becoming one of our Executive Culinary Directors, he oversaw all aspects of the development and implementation of new recipes and concepts to continually elevate our onboard dining experiences. He continues to drive our culinary philosophy with a passion and respect for the freshest, most flavorful ingredients and global culinary traditions.


As part of the revered tradition of mentoring and apprenticeship that is the mission of the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, Chef Eric acted as Chef Alex’s godfather into the esteemed program in 2023. The prestigious organization was established in 1951 and is dedicated to supporting and promoting French culinary arts around the world.


Get To Know Chef Eric Barale

Chef Eric has been committed to his craft since he was 16 years old, when he entered culinary school in his hometown of Toulouse, France. After obtaining his first culinary diploma, he moved to Paris and began working in famous luxury hotels such as Hôtel Concorde La Fayette and then in Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Europe. In 1990, Chef Eric began teaching culinary technique while earning his master’s degree in new cooking innovation and technology.


Soon thereafter, he left France to join the cruise industry and in 2003 became a founding member of Oceania Cruises’ culinary team, acting as Executive Chef for the launch of our fleet’s first ship, Regatta, and our second ship, Insignia. Since 2009, Chef Eric has overseen culinary operations and menu development for The Finest Cuisine at Sea®. In 2010, Chef Eric received the honor of being named a Master Chef of France when he was inducted into the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France.


A New Role for a Living Legend

A legendary chef and founding father of our culinary program, Jacques Pépin will also remain a crucial part of the Oceania Cruises family, taking on the new role of Executive Culinary Advisor as Chefs Alex and Eric become our Executive Culinary Directors.


Jacques shared, “I am so proud to be passing the baton to these two phenomenally talented chefs, who have worked alongside me for the past 20 years. It’s a true pleasure to see how the line’s culinary innovation flourishes year after year and I look forward to championing Chefs Alex and Eric further by being here for any advice or guidance needed.”


Jacques’ new role will also allow him to dedicate more time to his charitable endeavors with the Jacques Pépin Foundation, which supports community kitchens that provide training to help individuals detached from the workforce gain employment in the food industry. Oceania Cruises has been a key partner of the foundation since its inception, and we’re thrilled to continue working with Jacques on this important philanthropy.


Congratulations to all of these esteemed chefs on their exciting new undertakings!

Terms & Conditions

Originally posted March 22, 2024 Posted by Oceania Cruises in The Finest Cuisine at Sea® on the Oceania Cruises Blog  


Sign-up and let us be your resource for all things travel.
Stay up to date on travel promotions or get travel inspiration.