Culinary – Tastes of Ecuador

“The food was sensational, plentiful, fresh and fantastically prepared. I loved the Ecuadorian-inspired dishes and the lunches on the sun deck. Additionally, every excursion was followed by tasty tapas and fresh juices.”

{Patricia, Guest, Origin – June 2021.}

Galapagos Islands Culinary Cruises

Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so rather than resting on our laurels after our hugely popular culinary departures over the years, we decided to up the ante.

Enter, stage left, Estuardo Vilela, head chef of Ecoventura’s fleet of luxury yachts, Origin and Theory (to be joined in 2023 by sister ship Evolve). Estuardo is responsible for curating menus and feeding 20 passengers three exquisite meals a day, seven days a week (not forgetting the endless amuse bouches and snacks offered up between excursions), as well as the yachts’ hardworking crew.

Estuardo and his team are continuously innovating and experimenting, introducing new ingredients and dishes to create sumptuous menus that challenge and dazzle in equal measure. In anticipation of taking to the seas for another culinary cruise season, the team has recently released their updated menus, and we’re confident they won’t disappoint.

What Dishes to Expect on a Culinary Cruise

Dishes such as Grilled Octopus Basque-style and Crab croquettes served with kiwi chutney and lemon confit are expertly created in quite possibly one of the most compact kitchens on Relais & Chateaux’s prestigious books. But this in no way hampers Estuardo’s efforts.

“Cooking on a yacht that has a small kitchen is not a limitation, as long as there is a passion for cooking” Estuardo explains. With three or four courses for dinner and a menu that changes every day, passengers are guaranteed never to tire of Estuardo’s offerings.

Given the location, and the fact that ingredients are sourced locally where possible – around 70% of ingredients come from the surrounding islands – seafood features heavily. The grilled prawns with cilantro gremolata, and langoustines in garlic aioli, are particularly divine!

But the menus are highly varied, with a host of dishes available to choose from each day, from various soups through to beef filet with tamarind chimichurri, and everything in between, as well as a host of desserts for those with a sweet tooth!

Cooking on a yacht that has a small kitchen is not a limitation, as long as there is a passion for cooking.

{Estuardo Vilela – Head Chef – Ecoventura}

Media and Accolades

“Our luxury expedition yachts, Origin & Theory, are the only Relais & Chateaux vessels in the Galapagos – an accolade we at Ecoventura take great pride in. Relais & Chateaux is the watchword not only for luxury accommodation and second-to-none service, but mouth-watering cuisine.” explains President, Santiago Dunn.

Travel Writer Sam Bradley had the pleasure of chatting with Estuardo about his cooking experiences in the Galapagos and he shares them in the well-known We Said Go Travel blog. It’s heartening to hear how rewarding it is for Estuardo to see happy smiling guests enjoying his food, and in some instances, sharing his kitchen too!

“Not long ago we had a charter group on board, and one of the guests had organized rare white truffles. I was very excited to be preparing these for the first time, and the client happened to also be a chef so together we prepared a delicious risotto!” Estuardo recalls the story.

Whilst the main purpose of our passengers travelling to this unique corner of the globe is typically to admire the phenomenal flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands, our aim is to elevate their overall experience to the highest degree in terms of luxury, service and cuisine.

Drinks Are On Us!

Alongside Estuardo’s enticing menu for Origin & Theory, we are also very proud of our newly released selection of signature and classic cocktails – all of which are part of our open bar policy.

It’s hard to envisage a better way to reflect on a busy day exploring the Enchanted Isles than relaxing early evening on deck sipping a refreshing Pisco Sour… or might that be a Kicker Rock? Hang on, what about a Rabida Spritz? Perhaps with such a tempting line up, it’s rather hard to imagine after all!

Best come and sample for yourselves, so please do not hesitate to contact the team who would be delighted to help organize your “Gourmet Galapagos” adventure.

Truth be told, with our open bar, all-inclusive meal schedule and epicurean delights throughout the day, each an every departure on our luxury yachts have a culinary focus. However, we do occasionally have guest chefs come aboard on specific dates.

Currently, no dates are set for a culinary departure; however, please do check back again.

Read Blogs about Galapagos Culinary Cruises