Chef Ionel Purice Recipes

From Scenic Culinaire to your dinner table: Chef Ionel Purice

Bring the culinary magic of a Scenic Europe river cruise with Corporate Executive Chef Ionel Purice’s much-loved recipes. 
Every cruise on the luxurious Scenic Space-Ships is a gastronomic adventure. While cruising along the beautiful, historic rivers of Europe, you will find on board a selection of dining venues and menus to suit every occasion. Behind the scenes, we have some of the best chefs from around the world working their magic so that you can enjoy the gourmet dishes and delights on your European river cruise
Guests on our Bordeaux and South of France cruises even have the unique advantage of learning delicious local recipes from our knowledgeable chefs at our exclusive on board cooking school, Scenic Culinaire.
By incorporating the distinctive local flavours of the regions you pass through and using only the freshest locally sourced ingredients, our expert chefs ensure that you enjoy only the most delicious seasonal foods and a truly authentic experience. 
To help you start experiencing your European cruise from home, here are some much-loved recipes from our on board menus, shared by our very own Corporate Executive Chef Ionel Purice.

Chef Ionel Purice

With a Master’s degree in culinary arts from Amsterdam, Scenic’s Corporate Executive Chef Ionel Purice has worked in various capacities over 18 years of his hospitality career. About his culinary expertise on board Scenic’s Europe river cruises Chef Ionel says he draws his inspiration from the picturesque regions the boutique ship cruises past. “Purchasing the items local, supporting the local farmers and adding the fresh in every single plate is what makes us unique,” he says.

Banana Tarte Tatin

Chef’s notes:

Serve the French Banana Tarte Tatin warm with dust of icing sugar and a scoop of bourbon Vanilla ice cream.
  • 1 sheet puff-pastry dough, thawed if frozen
  • 75gm unsalted butter
  • 110gm granulated sugar
  • 1gm sea salt
  • 1gm ground cinnamon
  • 3 small bananas
Banana Tarte Tatin by Ionel Purice
Pie crust
  1. Take the puff pastry out of the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the sheet into a 9-inch square. Trace and cut out an 8½-inch circle. Lay the dough circle on parchment paper-lined plate and refrigerate it while you prepare the rest of the tart.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Pie filling
  1. Melt the butter in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar, salt and cinnamon and reduce the temperature to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts completely and becomes golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat
  2. Slice the bananas down the centre and arrange them in the melted sugar in the skillet.
  3. Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and lay it on top of the bananas. Working as quickly as possible, use a wooden spoon to poke the edges of the dough down around the bananas. Use a knife to cut a few holes.
  4. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
  5. Let the pie cool for a couple of minutes. Take out a plate that is somewhat larger than the pan. Place the plate over the pan and carefully flip both the pan and the plate so that the pie falls out onto the plate.

Bouillabaisse & Rouille

Part 1 / Fish Fond:
  • 2ltr water
  • 1gm saffron
  • 200gm white fish carcasses
  • 80gm onions with skin on
  • 40gm carrots-cubes
  • 80gm celery root-cubes
  • Salt, whole pepper, pimento, bay leafs, nutmeg, star anise
Part 2:
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 10gm garlic – chopped 
  • 100gm shallots – brunoise (small cubes)
  • 150gm celery root – brunoise 
  • 100gm fennel – brunoise 
  • 80gm leeks – brunoise 
  • 60gm tomato paste
Bouillabaisse & Rouille by Ionel Purice
  • 4 pieces tiger prawns – halved, poached
  • 100gm monkfish slices – poached 
  • 60gm mussel meat – poached 
  • 4 pieces black mussels
  • 80gm tomato concassè (tomato cubes)
  • 4 pieces baguette – angle cut, toasted 
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1gm garlic – chopped 
  • 1gm saffron powder
  • 120ml olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  1. Part 1: Combine all ingredients, bring to boil and simmer for approximately 1 hour on low heat. Strain through a cheesecloth and season to your taste
  2. Part 2: Sauté garlic and vegetables in olive oil, add tomato paste, deglaze with fish fond and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Poach monkfish, prawns and mussels separately in salt water for 1 minute and transfer to your ready soup
  3. For Rouille, combine egg yolk, garlic, saffron and seasonings; fold in olive oil with a hand blender

Escargot A La Viennoise

  • 40 pieces snails – canned
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 30gm shallots – brunoise (small cubes)
  • 5gm garlic – chopped 
  • 30gm carrots – brunoise
  • 15gm celery root – brunoise
  • 40gm broad beans – peeled 
  • 20gm butter
  • Salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme
  • 30ml pernod
  • 8-12 sprigs thyme
  • 4 pieces toast bread – 10 cm round cut, golden brown toasted
Escargot A La Viennoise by Ionel Purice
  1. Sauté shallots, garlic, carrots, celery and broad beans in olive oil. Add well-drained snails and deglaze with pernod. Add butter, chopped rosemary, thyme and season to your taste. Serve on golden brown toast.
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