Four Extraordinary Steps we Take with Every Scenic Dish Served

On a Scenic 5-star luxury river cruise, a meander along the breathtaking waterways of Europe is only part of the journey…
It’s more than a sumptuous meal enjoyed as you meander through the waterways of Europe.  Each meal on your 5-star luxury river cruise, has been carefully prepared to truly celebrate local flavours, in-season produce, and to ensure you are taken on a unique and exceptional culinary journey within itself.
Scenic’s Corporate Chef Ario Prananda shares the meticulous process each dish goes through before it is added to the menu, and served to you, our guests. 

Step One. The Inspiration 

Our chefs are creative geniuses who are constantly innovating and the first step to developing a new recipe is finding fresh inspiration. Scenic chefs will search the villages on either side of the spectacular waterways of Europe, for unique produce that can be transformed into sensational dishes. Visiting markets, independent growers and artisan makers and creators. 

Ario explains how his approach pulls inspiration from the different styles of cooking he has learnt over the years. He originates from Jakarta, was the chef behind the launch of our river cruise menu in South East Asia and for the last six years he has been working in Europe. 

He explains, “I always have a notepad with me. Always. And I am writing ideas in it all the time. Then for me, it’s blending the cuisine. When I go to create a recipe for the French menu with our food director, I put all these little components from my journey in different countries, and then I try to create one balanced dish.”

Step Two. The Creation

Every dish served on our 5-star luxury Europe river cruises is the creation of many days within the kitchen. It is all about finding the right balance and ensuring that each mouthful is a culinary sensation, that guests will remember for a lifetime. 

Ario says, “As a chef, I don’t think you ever think of a dish as perfect. You are always trying to make it better. Always trying to change elements of it. For example, my number one dish is a tuna niçoise. It has evolved as I have evolved, with it once being a Japanese dish to now a fusion dish.”  

Before the spring and summer cruise season launches in Europe, our chefs spend two weeks presenting their unique dishes to the culinary director to see if they will be suitable for the menu. It is a rigorous process, with only the most superior making the cut. 

Step Three. The Test

Once a chef has finessed their recipe, they will then share with the Culinary Director, Joerg Lindner, and then the rest of the culinary team during a taste testing day. It runs for hours, with each chef sampling around eight dishes.  At the core of each dish must be one particular strong element.  

Ario explains, “Each year we have new recipes and new menus, and it all focuses on what we call ‘sustainable gastronomy’. We have to work from the ingredients that are surrounding you. Just from the region itself. When you buy locally and know where you buy your produce, I think it's always an incredible culinary experience. Each dish will then evolve as we sail through the different regions, as we know what produce is available. Our approach to the menu is definitely agile.”

Step Four. The Pairing of Wine 

“Our sommelier for the Space-Ships is amazing,” says Ario. “We will tell him that we are cooking this dish, and he will ask for the ingredients and he will match a wine so perfectly that it is an art.” On board our Space-Ships, there’s an outstanding variety of wines inspired by the local regions and also by classic wines from around the world. 

On each menu, there is a mention of the best matched wine for the dish, which will truly bring out the unique flavours. “The whole experience is special and has been well thought out, so that it is exceptional from start to finish,” adds Ario. 

It’s More Than a 5-star Europe River Cruise 

With Scenic, it’s more than a river cruise, our Space-Ships are akin to a floating 5-star luxury hotel. On board, you can expect impeccable service and outstanding hospitality from world-class staff. 
Enjoy an unrivalled range of dining experiences. From relaxed to the fine dining, there’s a venue and menu for every occasion.
Scenic also elevates wellbeing to another level, with state-of-the-art gym and dedicated Wellness Area. 
This is truly all-inclusive luxury in a small ship environment, reserved for up to 163 guests in Europe, with an abundance of indulgent spaces. Your home away from home, each suite has been designed with our guest in mind. 
Onshore, fully immersive experiences have been created to take guests to the very heart of these remarkable regions. Scenic Freechoice activities can be tailored to each guest’s individual interests, and then pursued at a pace that suits them. 
Exploring by e-bike through quaint villages along the Rhine, wandering a magical castle in the pretty French countryside, or indulging in the spectacular food and exquisite wines at a family-run Quinta in Portugal. Scenic Enrich events are exclusive, and once-in-a-lifetime moments in palaces, castles and historic sites. 
When you travel with Scenic, the experience is in a class of its own. It’s more than personalised travel, it’s our guests’ desires taken care of to the Nth Degree.