Ecuador’s only Relais & Chateau restaurant

AUTHOR Daniel Andino

Anyone familiar with our Galapagos cruises here at Ecoventura knows there are certain pillars we hold in highest esteem, foundations inherent to one’s once-in-a-lifetime cruise through these isles.

In addition to premium accommodations aboard our luxury yachts, the Origin and the newly-christened Theory, our naturalist guides are ever-present to enhance your journey with expert knowledge of both land and sea.

Then there’s the food.

As past guests often attest, cuisine is something we take seriously on board our vessels, and in part this involves bringing aboard the best chefs we know – ones who take pride in creating an unforgettable dining experience during your cruise once voyaged by Charles Darwin himself.

This fall, we are pleased to welcome aboard one of the very best, Ecuadoran chef Wilson Alpala.

A resident chef at Ecuador’s top-rated Relais & Chateaux restaurant, ZAZU, Chef Alpala will be joining us aboard Origin the week of October 27-03 November 2019.

It’s all part of an ethos we set out to uphold each time we draw anchor. If a culinary-themed departure with one of South America’s premier chefs sounds like something for you and yours, read on for how you can join us this fall!

Located in Quito, Zazu is one of Ecuador’s finest restaurants. Guests who book a culinary departure with us will receive a voucher to dine here either before or after their cruise.

Chef Alpala, who joined Zazu after spending his first few years of practice in France, is known for serving contemporary cuisine with Latin American influences, drawing ingredients almost entirely from local sources.

A master of his craft who settles for no less than excellent, Chef Alpala is widely regarded for working closely with farmers, growing his own vegetables in restaurant greenhouses, and working with his own select crew of fisherman along the Ecuadorian coast.

The Culinary Cruise Experience

While our Culinary Departures offer a unique culinary experience, it is in keeping with our perennial mission to deliver high-quality and thoughtful dining options to guests on every cruise. Each of our vessels is staffed by culinary-trained staff who go above and beyond to serve Ecuadorian food as memorable as the trip itself.

Many of our guests choose to travel with Ecoventura because environmental issues matter to them. Our culinary mission promotes healthier living, environmental stewardship, and support for local farmers. Our dedication to sustainability continues to the kitchen, where we source many of our ingredients from right here in the Galapagos.

Reducing the amount of food sourced from the mainland helps protect the environment from invasive species and each year we aim to increase our locally sourced ingredients. Guests will enjoy fruits and vegetables from San Cristobal, and meat and dairy from Santa Cruz Island. In addition, half of our products (and counting) are completely organic.

Our focus on healthier fare avoids high-calorie or fried meals in favor of highlighting the wonderful flavor and quality of every ingredient used. We are happy to accommodate any guest’s dietary needs with vegan, vegetarian, low-sodium, low-fat, and gluten-free options available upon request. This ensures that dining differently does not mean you have to sacrifice taste or enjoyment in the dining room.

Every meal is a priority, starting with a frequently-changing breakfast bar offering traditional favorites like quiche Lorraine, as well as local dishes like yucca dumplings, stuffed with cheese and served with honey.

Each day involves an excursion or two with activities such as snorkeling or nature walks. We will be waiting for you on deck with hors d’oeuves when you return from the visit ashore.

Each day we serve a buffet-style lunch in the dining room or a BBQ lunch on the on sundeck. You will savor tasty dishes such as garlic prawns or Ecuadorian braised pork followed by dessert. Our staff will come by at that time with the dinner menu for that evening and you will select the entrees you prefer.

After some down time on the yacht, head to the bar for a choice of wine, beer, or specialty cocktail, and prepare to enjoy a four-course meal in the dining room with beautiful views of the sea.

Some past favorites include grilled octopus, Basque-style, served with roasted peppers and sautéed potatoes; or grilled duck with pears in red wine balsamic reduction and pumpkin puree.

Dessert is always offered and varies nightly from tiramisu to a mixed-berry pannacotta.

For more information on our Ecuadorian food and to see a sample menu, visit our cuisine page.

A Perfect Union

We mentioned above that Chef Alpala’s pedigree includes that of resident chef at Zazu, one of Ecuador’s finest restaurants and a member of Relais & Chateaux. We’re so excited to be hosting their top chef on our upcoming culinary departure and if you will be in Quito before or after your cruise, we can assist you with a reservation at Zazu!

About Zazu

“Zazu, Quito’s best restaurant, serves beautifully presented versions of Ecuadorian dishes.” – Andrew Harper, Traveler’s Magazine

Zazu is the only restaurant in Ecuador that has been accepted into the illustrious Relais & Chateaux.

Zazu are well-known for their fresh catch of the day, chef’s tasting menu, ceviches, and mains (sucking pig, short rib, duck carbonara, and filet mignon).

Ready for a taste of Ecuador in the Galapagos? Join us on our Culinary Departure cruise with Chef Wilson Alpala!

Culinary departures on board the MV Origin: October 27-03 Nov, 2019 on Itinerary A.

Cruise rates are $7,850.00 per person – save 10% if booked before April 27!

If you have any questions or would like to book your culinary departure, contact us today!