Back onboard, Roberto's in the kitchen whipping up 7-8 different sauces a day before simmering down bones to prep for the next. His favorite sauce to prepare? "It's this red currant jelly, because it's so delicate and pairs so well with duck and chicken." Beyond sauces, he's a dessert man: "I love making a cold chocolate fondant; the middle becomes like chocolate sorbet and the preparation is a nice challenge."
Can you tell he's all about the challenge? Roberto's next rung to climb is to become a special orders chef, cooking for passengers with dietary needs. After that...up and up until Roberto is Chef de Cuisine and posing for photos next to ice sculptures.
A dessert of Warm Apple Strudel with Brandy sauce
What he loves most about the at-sea lifestyle: The challenge, to put it simply. Roberto is quickly working his way up in the chef world, exquisite dish after exquisite dish, but he thrives on anything that requires him to use his mind and work creatively. Hence the at-sea lifestyle, where he's cooking for thousands of people every meal and infusing every little brush of sauce upon your plate with his expertise and passion for the craft.
Favorite port: "When you arrive in New York, there's so much energy; you feel it right away." Roberto has a thing for the Big Apple as you could probably already tell from his love for Thomas Keller's Per Se. "If you want something...anything, you find it in NY."
Favorite on-land activities: As you can probably expect, Roberto is big on visiting the great restaurants of particular destinations, but most of the time he goes for a local experience in the markets. Sampling the delicacies, seeing the produce and gaining inspiration is Roberto's raison d'être, and he specifically names the markets of Civitavecchia (Rome), Norway and Barcelona"the serrano ham and truffles!"as ones he most looks forward to.
Up next: on Friday our series concludes with the man in charge of something very important: the cocktail menus.
Disclosure: We traveled to Norway onboard the Queen Victoria as a guest of Cunard, but all images and opinions are entirely our own (or those of the interviewees).
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]