Yummy Tides

Bringing cruise passengers a superb culinary experience takes plenty of planning and execution behind-the-scenes before the buffets and menu options are laid out for everyone to see (and devour). Hans Hesselberg, Sr. VP of Hotel Operations for MSC Cruises, gives a glimpse on orchestrating epicurean delights on the high seas.
Text by Estrellita S. Sibila | May 26, 2018 | People

Would you be able to guess how much food is needed to feed almost 4,000 passengers on a typical 7-night cruise? Well, for starters, you won’t be leaving port without 57 gallons of extra virgin olive oil, 38,000 pounds of fresh vegetables and 46,000 pounds of fresh fruit. Sr. VP of Hotel Operations for MSC Cruises Hans Hesselberg is responsible for making sure that his fleet is abundantly stocked with fresh, quality ingredients and that passengers have an unforgettable dining experience while at sea. But long before the tables are set and meals are ready to be enjoyed, it’s Hesselberg and his team who make sure the pantry is plentiful and there are enough lobster tails and prawns to satisfy the appetites of its travelers. He and his team calculate food consumption projections based on passenger profiles and sail destinations before creating a unique menu that’s carried out over 7 nights by a 650-strong food operations staff: 243 culinary staff working in the galley creating everything from Fresh Burrata Cheese to Citrus-Infused Seafood Passatelli, Spiced Braised Veal Cheeks and Stuffed Sardines; 296 crew members serving guests smiles and sizzling angus steak at the restaurants; and 111 more serving up liquid libations to thirsty passengers. Fresh ingredients are also flown in to the nearest port so you’ll always get to enjoy all 20 flavors of homemade Venchi Gelateria Gelato and the variety of other culinary treats this Italian cruiseline has to offer;