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Two-star Michelin chef Emma Bengtsson to curate culinary experience on Explora I

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Emma Bengtsson (credit: Eric Vitale Photography) and example dishes (credit: Signe Birck)
Emma Bengtsson, the first female Swedish chef and the second female chef based in the US to be awarded two Michelin stars, has been chosen to curate a culinary experience on Explora I and will sail aboard in autumn.

Bengtsson, from New York restaurant Aquavit, will be the first female and US-based chef to showcase her culinary talents at Anthology. The restaurant, one of 11 on board, is where guest chefs curate menus in collaboration with Franck Garanger, Explora Journeys’ head of culinary, to showcase global cuisines along with wine pairings. 

Bengtsson’s menu will be available to passengers from the beginning of October 2023 until the end of March 2024. An experience fee applies to dine at Anthology: the tasting menu is EUR 190 per person and the wine pairing, EUR 75 per person. 

The chef will join the ship’s nine-night sailing from Quebec to New York in October, which gets underway October 3.  

‘An inspiration’ 

Michael Ungerer, CEO, Explora Journeys, described Bengtsson as ‘an inspiration in the culinary world.’ He said, ‘Anthology offers a one-of-a-kind culinary experience for our guests, and we have already received outstanding feedback from our guests on this exceptional venue. 

‘We look forward to working with chef Bengtsson to continue providing our guests with an elevated dining experience that will showcase her distinctive culinary style through a variety of delicious dishes.’ 

Scandinavian influences, flavours of New York City

Bengtsson wanted to create for Anthology’s guests a menu that represents the culinary essence of her cuisine at Aquavit, using only the best ingredients and applying the unique Scandinavian flavour profiles produced by smoking, pickling, fermenting and curing – all of which are staples at Aquavit. Garanger said, ‘It has been an absolute pleasure working with chef Emma Bengtsson and her team at Aquavit to create this incredible menu for Explora I’s guests. Showcasing the creative blend of Scandinavian influences and the vibrant flavours of New York City, this truly follows our ethos of connecting cultures and continents through culinary discoveries.’ 

Local cuisine, sustainable ingredients 

‘I’m thrilled to partner with Explora Journeys to create a menu that reflects the values I share with the brand,’ noted Bengtsson. ‘I have always had a deep appreciation for local cuisines and sustainably sourced ingredients, so I look forward to bringing these aspects to Anthology and showcasing progressive techniques combined with traditional fare for an outstanding dining experience.' 

Explora I will spend the winter and spring in North America and the Caribbean Sea before returning to the Mediterranean for summer 2024.

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