P&O Cruises has announced three new “local food heroes” to bring what it calls an authentic taste of the destinations visited aboard its newest ship, the Iona, in 2020.
With the Iona spending her maiden winter season in Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands, guests will be able to enjoy the culinary creations of José Pizarro, a Spanish-born, UK based chef. Pizarro is described as a master of tapas and dedicated to showcasing Spanish cuisine. He is also designing a tapas menu for The Glass House, as well as signature Spanish dishes, such as paella in a new dining option – Taste 360.
To bring local flavors into Iona’s dining experiences while in Norwegian fjords, P&O has enlisted the help of Norwegian chef Kjartan Skjelde and photographer and home cook Marte Marie Forsberg. Kjartan has created a six course Norwegian tasting menu for The Epicurean restaurant on Iona. Forsberg is designing a range of local dishes which will appear in Taste 360. Guests dining in Iona’s main restaurants will be able to sample Norwegian flavors too, with special local dishes appearing across the menus.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “One of the best ways to explore a destination is to try the native dishes that tell stories of the history, culture and lives of the locals. Our new local food heroes will be champions of fresh, seasonal ingredients and recipes that fly the flag for their homelands. We are privileged to have chefs of their caliber helping us to create authentic dining experiences that reflect the ports we are visiting during Iona’s maiden year.”
José Pizarro is from Cáceres in Spain and has now lived in London for 20 years. He grew up on a farm and was inspired by the cooking he saw in his mother and grandmother’s kitchen. Today, he owns four restaurants in London and is a regular on cooking programs, such as BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, and has written four cook books.
Kjartan Skjelde was born and raised in Stavanger, Norway. He still lives and works there today as the founder and owner of two restaurants: Tango and the Fish & Cow brasserie. Kjartan is a high profile chef in Norway, having appeared as a judge on the TV series MasterChef Norway and Camp Kulinaris, and he has written five cook books.
Born and raised in a small coastal town in the south of Norway, Marte Marie Forsberg is a writer, photographer and home cook. Her work focuses on provenance, local ingredients, traditional recipes and presentation. She has been featured in magazines, newspapers and online articles across the world.