Costa Cruises is introducing a new menu on board its ships that is the result of its special partnership with Bruno Barbieri. The collaboration between the company and the Italian Chef is a sign of the importance that Costa gives to Italy’s finest, with the aim of not only providing mouth-watering food to Costa guests, but also to make their cruise experience unique and thrilling.
Taking guests on a “journey for the emotions” is exactly what the new dishes all set out to do, created for Costa by the Italian chef with the most Michelin stars in his career – seven, no less – who said: “I am all for cuisine prepared with love, where everyone who tastes my dishes can scrutinise the very soul of their food, the real history of its people, all those people who wake up every day and go out to work so that exceptional ingredients reach our plates. Learning about all the stories behind a dish makes cuisine a wonderful journey. My aim has always been to make exciting things, and this is what lies behind every dish on the new menu I have created for Costa Cruises guests.”
“Being able to offer dishes by Bruno Barbieri on board our ships fills us with pride,” commented Giuseppe Carino, Costa Cruises VP Guest Experience & Onboard Revenues. “Every year we take hundreds of thousands of guests on holiday who come from approximately 200 different countries and to whom we want to offer a cruise experience that encapsulates Italy’s finest, starting precisely with our cuisine, which has always been one of our strengths. This new menu will give our guests the chance to discover the cuisine of a great Italian chef who mixes together exquisite ingredients in recipes that are always new and amazing.”
Costa guests can discover all the flavours and excitement of the new dishes created by Bruno Barbieri at a special dinner entirely devoted to the menu that bears his name. The full range of courses start with an antipasto and end with a dessert, including delights like a salad of prawns with endive heart and minced Mediterranean pesto, and “garganelli” pasta with swordfish, tomato and basil, on a cream of cannellini bean and strong ricotta, a pasta dish that calls to mind the Romagnola riviera, the chef’s homeland. One of Bruno Barbieri’s other pasta dishes includes “tortellini” in a Parmesan and bay leaf fondue flavoured with nutmeg, ingredients that remind him of his family and his nascent love of cooking. Salmon steak with a potato crust, lamb cutlets with green bread and dried fruit, and sliced beef fillet are the main course stars, each one enhanced with the finest ingredients combined in a harmonious and sophisticated way. Fruits of the forest bavarois with cooked grape must and warm chocolate and walnut pudding with blackberry sauce and lavender-scented custard are the sweet final destination on this journey for the emotions created by the chef.
Guests who are following a vegetarian diet will not be missing out either: they, and anyone else who wants to try light, new flavours, can try, for example, an antipasto of spinach pudding with confit cherry tomatoes, herb-flavoured salsa verde and thinly sliced sesame bread; a soup made with potato cream, endive and olive pie and rounded off with a quenelle of thick tomato soup, and a vegetable brochette dipped in spices, that recalls journeys to far-off lands.
The partnership between Costa and Bruno Barbieri began in 2016 with the launch of the “Benvenuti alla felicità²” (Welcome to happiness squared) campaign. The chef created a special menu for the occasion, giving Costa guests the chance to go on a journey through the flavours of traditional Italian cuisine, from North to South.
Born near the capital of Emilia-Romagna, Bologna, he graduated from the Hotel and Catering Management School there, before beginning his career as chef on cruises ships, learning more about different gastronomic cultures while on board. Back on dry land he worked in the best Italian restaurants, and started his ascent, winning seven Michelin stars along the way. Last summer he opened the Fourghetti restaurant in Bologna and today he is the star of high-profile TV programmes like MasterChef, as well as the Junior and, as of this year, the Celebrity versions, and participant on various radio shows and author of numerous books. He puts on culinary road shows around the world, which he likes to call “cooking theatres”.