A brief interview with Michael Hoffmann, Corporate Executive Chef at Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, whose job is to create and establish new culinary concepts for our cruise ships.
Back to the roots
– Michael Hoffmann’s credo
What made you become a chef? My mother and grandmother introduced me to cooking and baking, and I used to love helping them in the kitchen. I found it fascinating to see what they could conjure up to put on the table – and I wanted to learn to do the same. At the age of eight, I could already cook – but I couldn’t fix a bicycle.
You are a chef as well as a gardener. How do you combine these two passions? My training and the specialist books I read didn’t teach me much about vegetables. So I wanted to become a specialist in cooking vegetable dishes. But because vegetables can truly be transformed into a tasty treat, you need vegetables that already have a lot of flavour. That’s why I work closely with partners who share my high expectations.
What exactly have you done for the EUROPA 2 with this expertise? I have created new culinary concepts – including the design of a vegetarian menu featuring 120 different and delicious dishes.
Is this concept going down well? Yes, guests on board the EUROPA 2 are young or young at heart and like to eat extremely healthily. Quality and sustainability are also very important to them, but they don’t want to be deprived of any pleasure. So they have come to the right place with us.
How would you describe the culinary concept on board the EUROPA 2? Just as it should be on a cruise, guests on board the EUROPA 2 also experience a culinary voyage of discovery. They have plenty of variety to choose from with seven different restaurants – from classic Italian to modern Asian cuisine. For maximum flexibility, there are relaxed mealtimes and no fixed seating plans in the restaurants.
Can people also discover Michael Hoffmann on board the EUROPA 2? You can experience me every day – just take a look at the menus in the restaurants. You’ll find me there in the form of my dishes, which will be a true delight for the taste buds.
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
– Oscar Wilde
Well before our head chef and our hotel manager go shopping at the local markets on your cruise or order food for your cruise, our gourmet and logistics experts make a detailed list of the products and quantities that will actually be required on board. These ingredients are then always processed by our chefs, fresh and to order, at our a la carte restaurants and live cooking stations. The result: outstanding dishes and the responsible consumption of high-quality foods.