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Geneva, Switzerland, 3 Decmber 2018 - MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and market leader in Europe, South America and the Gulf, revealed today that its upcoming 2019 World Cruise will feature an all-star cast of uniquely international chefs sure to make for a one-of-a-kind gourmet dining experience while on board. This includes current as well as former three-, two- and one-star Michelin chefs, chefs of the year, award-winning cookbook authors as well as recipients of other international culinary recognitions.  

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises CEO commented, “At MSC Cruises, we are passionate about delivering a high quality, international dining experience for our guests. The 2019 World Cruise top chef programme is taking this commitment to yet the next level. For us, an MSC Cruises holiday is not only about the discovery of new countries and cultures but also marrying that with an unforgettable experience while on board. By bringing together a uniquely international all-star cast of some of the world’s leading chefs to create these dedicated dining experiences, we will truly immerse our guests in the cultures and the flavours of many of the incredible destinations that they will visit along their journey on MSC Magnifica.”

Guests on board MSC Magnifica, on her epic 2019 World Cruise that will depart in just over a month’s time on 5th January 2019 from Genoa, Italy, will be in for a true gastronomic experience where they can enjoy the circumnavigation of the globe also through a uniquely international on-board dining. Bringing flavours and inspiration from their native countries and beyond, this impressive line-up of all-star chefs will create their own special dishes for MSC Cruises guests and will be on board for part of the cruise. The line-up includes chefs from every corner of the globe representing some of the world’s most popular cuisines, including:

- Michelin-starred Spanish Chef Ramón Freixa
- Decorated Indian-American Chef Vikas Khanna
- Award-winning Italian Chef Carlo Cracco
- Two-time World Champion in pastry, French Chef Jean-Philippe Maury
- Restauranteur, cookbook author and Chef Roy Yamaguchi
- Expert in all four schools of Chinese cooking, Chef Jereme Leung
- Veteran chef and restauranteur, Brazilian Chef Allan Vila Espejo
- MasterChef Colombia jury member Chef Jorge Rausch
- And, Sydney Morning Herald’s “Chef of the Year”, French-Canadian Chef Serge Dansereau
 (see more details about each chef in the Notes to Editors section of this release.)

Each acclaimed chef will develop a three or four-course menu to be experienced and enjoyed by guests over the course of a single dedicated special evening, each reflecting the chef’s own particular skill and flair, while Pastry Chef Jean-Philippe Maury will prepare a special dessert. Most of the chefs will embark on board for a section of the cruise together with a select team to join the ship’s on-board chefs to work together in the preparation of their personalised creations. During these uniquely exclusive meals, the chefs will then be on hand to greet and interact with guests in person while they enjoy their delicious dishes.

The next MSC World Cruise, in 2020

While the 2019 World Cruise is long sold out, for those who wish to join the ship for her next journey around the globe, there are still a few choice cabins available on the 2020 World Cruise departing 5 January 2020.

Among the 43 destinations across 23 countries of the 2020 World Cruise are a whole host of brand new and exotic destinations including, among many others:

• Ushuaia, Argentina – the most southern city in the world, this Argentinian fishing village offers stunning water scenery with often snow-topped mountains
• Rapa Nui – Easter Island – famed globally for its unique collection of carved-stone figurines dating back to the 13th century
• Darwin, Australia – located at the northern tip of the country, the region allows guest to experience the true Australia – beaches, lagoons, sports and local wildlife can all be experienced within close proximity
• Valparaiso, Chile – famed for its small coloured houses on its coastal hills, guests can get a spectacular view out into the Pacific or explore the city, searching for its photo-worthy walls of art
• Mumbai/Bombay, India – bustling city Mumbai (previously called Bombay) offers smells, tastes and sights around every corner
• Salalah, Oman – multiple waterfalls, exotic lush flora and unusual animals make this stop hard to forget.

For more information as well as her full, one-of-a-kind itinerary and experience, visit here.

Details and dates of the 2019 World Cruise top chef programme:

Barcelona, Spain - 8 January
Spanish Michelin-starred Chef Ramón Freixa will extend his existing collaboration with MSC Cruises with a menu on the evening of 8th January, featuring delightful Duck Royale with cream of foie gras and other Mediterranean flavours, such as sautéed scallops and a white chocolate mousse with champagne jelly.

At sea – 15 January
The next chef to feature on board MSC Magnifica will be star Chef Allan Vila Espejo, from Brazil. Giving guests culinary insight into his rich culture, he will present his full signature four courses menu for the Brazilian-themed dinner on 15th January.

Cartagena, Colombia - 24 January
A MasterChef Colombia alum, Chef Jorge Rausch knows the ins and outs of what it takes to put together a masterful meal. Sharing his Colombian roots, Chef Rausch has designed a meal experience that will feature octopus and shrimp ceviche, white fish Boronia and his own spin on a local dish, Posta Negra Cartagenera tipo Rausch: braised pork rib cooked in tamarind and panela, with plantain and coconut rice.

San Diego, U.S. – 5 February
Considered by many to be one of the best pastry chefs in the world, French-born Chef Jean-Philippe Maury will embark in San Diego, home to his latest venture iDessert. The leading pastry chef and chocolatier will tempt guests’ taste buds with his dessert creation, unveiling a chocolate “CroustiChoc” that anyone with a sweet tooth will enjoy.

Honolulu, Hawaii – 17 February
Japanese-American Chef Roy Yamaguchi brings his signature Asian flavours to MSC Magnifica with a mouth-watering dedicated menu, including Misoyaki butter fish, lobster and shrimp char-sui fried rice, grilled teriyaki double pork chop with Hawaiian chimichurri sauce and a vanilla pannacotta with magnolia ice cream for dessert.

At Sea – 20 March
Renown Sydney-based Chef Serge Dansereau will join MSC Magnifica in mid-March, where he will entrance guests with an exclusive quintessentially Down Under menu of yellowfin tuna tartar, Lamb loin, potato gratin and a chocolate gateau with lemon curd and hazelnut crumble to finish.

Singapore – 2 April
Acclaimed Chinese Chef Jereme Leung has worked with MSC Cruises for the past three years and will once again delight our guests with a delicious menu to be remembered, featuring a three-course dining experience featuring an Asian medley of winter melon soup, Curry chicken and Cheng Teng dessert.

Male, the Maldives - 10 April
Indian sensation Chef Vikas Khanna joins the ship for the last leg of her journey, serving a flavour-filled menu inspired by his home country, including Carom fried fish with tamarind date chutney and kale salad, Mumbai coconut lemon and spinach soup and Masala chicken roulade with figs. To top it all off, a Saffron yogurt pudding with spiced, roasted apples and fennel biscotti.

Finally, Italian Chef Carlo Cracco – another long-time MSC Cruises partner - will join the ship as the final chef in this incredible line-up, as she makes her way back to through the Mediterranean and returns to Italy. The details of the final, one-of-a-kind dining experience featuring Carlo Cracco will be announced separately in due course.

Between each of these gustatory delights, MSC Cruises’ own star Corporate Chef Francesco Laforgia and Corporate Pastry Chef Bruno Zaza will delight guests with a unprecedented 237 different menus for the main restaurants, including thematic dishes that are linked to the itinerary of the ship and will also be served at the Sahara Buffet.
Notes to the Editor:

About the Chefs

Ramón Freixa - *Michelin-starred

The first chef to sail on this unique adventure is the Spanish chef Ramón Freixa, who has been collaborating with MSC Cruises since March 2018. In his cuisine there is daring, innovation and wisdom, as well as impeccable technique and a number of visual and sensory tricks. A blend of tradition and avant-garde, madness and common sense in perfect harmony.

Chef Freixa has restaurants in Madrid (including Ramón Freixa Madrid at Unico Hotel with two Michelin Stars) and Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) as well as a signature restaurant 'Ocean Cay' on board MSC Seaview; all of them different in concept, but united by Mediterranean origins. MSC Cruises will also welcome a new restaurant concept, 'HOLA Tapas Bar by Ramón Freixa' on board the upcoming MSC Bellissima.

Vikas Khanna - *Michelin-starred

Named one of the Deutsche Welle News’s “10 Iconic Chefs of All Time,” alongside Julia Child, Jamie Oliver, among others; Chef Vikas Khanna found his passion for gastronomy at a young age. His grandmother inspired his love of cooking, leading him to cater for weddings and family functions by the age of 17. His culinary path led him all the way to the Flatiron district in New York City, where as chef of Junoon, the restaurant received a Michelin star for six consecutive years.

He has served as a judge on both MasterChef India and MasterChef Junior, as well as appearing on Hell’s Kitchen and the Martha Stewart Show. He has also served as the talent behind the film series Holy Kitchens and written more than 25 cookbooks.

Carlo Cracco - *Michelin-starred

Carlo Cracco began his professional career in 1986 at Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan, the first Italian restaurant to achieve three Michelin stars. After spending three years in France to learn the secrets of French cuisine under the guidance of Alain Ducasse (Hotel de Paris) and Lucas Carton (Senderens, Paris), Chef Cracco returned to Italy to become the head chef of Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, which quickly won three Michelin stars under his leadership.

A few years later, he accepted the invitation of the Stoppani family, owners of the most famous gastronomic emporium in Milan since 1883, to open the Cracco-Peck restaurant as Chief Executive in 2001. Since July 2007, Carlo Cracco has been the Chef Patron of Ristorante Cracco. In February 2014, Carlo Cracco opened the bistro and cocktail bar “Carlo e Camilla in Segheria”, which was ranked best restaurant in the world by Wallpaper* Magazine in 2015 In 2016, Carlo opened Ovo by Carlo Cracco in Moscow, a gastronomic restaurant inside the South-Korean Lotte Group’s hotel in the city. In 2017, he and Lapo Elkann opened Garage Italia inside the building of a former Milan service station, bringing fine dining and automotive excellence together. In February 2018, Ristorante Cracco moved to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.

Since 2013, MSC Cruises has collaborated with Chef Cracco on numerous projects, including DOREMI Chef for our youngest guests and creating signature dishes for the rest of our fleet.

Jean-Philippe Maury

Award-winning pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury is a two-time World Champion in pastry and has also received the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) in pastry. He has had incredible success in the United States, where he has appeared on multiple shows on the Food Network, including Fabulous Cakes and The Next Iron Chef, and has worked as Executive Pastry Chef in multiple Las Vegas resorts, where he also had pastry shops in both the Aria and Bellagio Resorts & Casinos.

Currently, Chef Maury is bringing desserts to the 21st Century, with his unique iDessert shop in San Diego, California, where guests can create their own desserts.

The French-born Chef Maury is a long-time partner of MSC Cruises, with signature chocolateries and gelaterias on board MSC Meraviglia, as well as the upcoming MSC Bellissima.

Roy Yamaguchi

Chef Roy Yamaguchi is an American chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality. He is famed for proudly representing his Japanese heritage through impeccable dishes, using only freshest ingredients. He is the founder of 30 Roy’s Restaurants, in¬cluding 28 in the United States, one in Guam and one in Okinawa, Japan.

Yamaguchi’s numerous accolades include the prestigious James Beard Award. He has host¬ed six seasons of the PBS-TV show, Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi, seen throughout the US, as well as in over 60 countries. He has also published four culinary cookbooks.

Chef Yamaguchi has been working with MSC Cruises since MSC Seaside first touched the sea, where his signature Asian Market Kitchen seamlessly blends traditional Asian flavours with American favourites. A second Asian Market Kitchen debuted on MSC Seaview in June this year.

Jereme Leung

Creative combinations of modern Chinese dishes and classical Chinese provincial food are a signature of Chef Jereme Leung’s cuisine. Highly respected by numerous international food critics, Chef Leung is an expert in all four schools of Chinese cooking – dim sum, barbecue, wok cooking and knife work and received the prestigious Five Star Diamond Award in 2000 and 2008 from The American Academy of Hospitality Science, naming him one of the “World’s Best Chefs.” He has also appeared as the Chief Judge on MasterChef China.

MSC Cruises has been working with Chef Leung since 2015, when they first collaborated on menus for MSC Lirica. He has previously created special menus for main restaurants on our ships and has a signature hot pot restaurant, Sea Pavilion, aboard the Asian-based MSC Splendida.

Allan Vila Espejo

Chef Allan Vila Espejo is well-recognised in Brazil for his popular 15-year stint on the television programme Chef Delights and his more than 10 bestselling cookbooks. His 30+ years in the culinary arts have solidified his position as one of Brazil’s top chefs, in addition to his 15 restaurants throughout the country that he operates with his partner Andrea Conte.

Jorge Rausch

A native of Colombia, Chef Rausch is best known for his seven restaurants throughout Colombia and Costa Rica, as well as his participation as a member of the jury on MasterChef Colombia. He is also the publisher of a number of well-received cookbooks, including Criterión: Los Hermanos Rausch en la Cocina, which was nominated for a Gourmand World Cookbook Award.  

Serge Dansereau

French-Canadian Chef Serge Dansereau came to Sydney, Australia in 1983, where he began work at the newly built The Regent, which is consistently voted one of the world’s best hotels. After only one year, Chef Dansereau was appointed Executive Chef of Kable’s in the hotel and led the restaurant to legendary fame, leading to a seemingly endless list of awards. These included the prestigious Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide “Chef of the Year” award, as well as the Sydney Morning Herald Special Award for Excellence.

In 1999, he became a partner and Chef at The Bathers’ Pavilion, and the sole owner since 2003, which he has helped transform into one of Sydney’s most highly acclaimed eateries. He is the author of numerous cookbooks and the host of the Chef’s Table dinner experience at the Bathers’ Pavilion.

About MSC Magnifica

MSC Magnifica will enable guests to travel in real comfort and style. Built in 2009, the ship boasts masterful design and relaxed refinement, with all of the features that distinguish any MSC Cruises ship, including one of the highest ratios of balcony cabins, high quality service, fresh and authentic dining options including four restaurants and 11 bars, modern and comfortable cabins as well as a wide range of entertainment and leisure activities. From the gourmet restaurants serving cuisine prepared with fresh ingredients and authentic inspiration from around the world to the wide variety of world class entertainment offerings including a full-scale casino, panoramic discotheque, cigar lounge, 4D cinema and much more – guests will feel the attention to detail in service and design that is a trademark for MSC Cruises.