Cruise chef's 'lavish' Bouillabaisse & 'tasty' lemon meringue tart recipes

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Updated on:

Summer is nearly here and with the season comes a whole host of new eating and drinking opportunities. Fresh and light is name of the game in the warmer months - and here are two perfect recipes for just that.

Cruise chefs are well practised in whipping up delicious dishes for their guests and knowing what's best at what time of year.

Here, Oliver Pilarczyk, corporate chef at A-Rosa River Cruises, has shared his ideal summer recipes.

There's bouillabaisse for main and lemon meringue pie for dessert - both with paired wines.

The dishes are bound to impress your guests...or just to satiate you as you some me-time on a fine summer's day!

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"I love the story of bouillabaisse and how it has been transformed over the years from a simple fisherman’s soup into a more lavish recipe," Pilarczyk told World of Cruising.

"It is such a versatile dish, as you can use a variety of fish from the local market, and it makes a lovely light lunchtime treat when sailing on the Rhone.

Recipe - serves four


• 2 onions

• 2 or 3 garlic cloves

• 2 large tomatoes

• 1 small leek

• ½ fennel bulb

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• Zest of half an orange, cut into strips

• 400ml fish stock

• 250ml dry white wine

• 2 tsp tomato paste

• 2 or 3 sprigs thyme

• 2 bay leaves

• 1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 2 tsp hot water

• Salt and freshly ground pepper

• 800g mixed, filleted fish (eg monkfish, red snapper, sea bass, John Dory)

• 8 king prawns, shelled and gutted

• 16 mussels, cleaned and washed

• 8 small potatoes, peeled and boiled until soft


1. Slice the onion and garlic into thin strips.

2. Score the tomatoes crosswise, place in boiling water for 20 seconds, then remove and peel. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, removing the cores, then coarsely dice.

3. Slice the leek, then cut the fennel into strips, reserving the greens as a garnish.

4. Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, leek, fennel and orange zest, and sauté briefly.

5. Add fish stock, wine, tomato paste, spices and herbs, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about 10 minutes.

6. Add the fish pieces with the prawns, mussels and potatoes. Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes at medium-low heat.

7. Season the soup to taste, and discard any mussels that remain closed.

8. Serve the fish and vegetables in deep plates. Ladle the soup over the top, sprinkle with fennel greens and serve with small bowls of rouille (below) on the side.

Oliver Pilarczyk is a corporate chef at A-Rosa River Cruise

Sauce Rouille


• 1 egg

• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped

• 4ml oil (not olive oil – it’s too bitter)

• 1/4 tsp chilli powder

• Pinch each of turmeric, salt and sugar

• Splash of lemon juice


1. Place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.

2. Combine with a hand blender, slowly drawing the blade upwards as the mixture goes cloudy. When you reach the top, hold the blender at an angle so that as little oil as possible remains on top.

3. Chill the rouille and serve with toasted bread as a side dish for the bouillabaisse.

Wine choice

La Chablisienne Burgundy. With aromas of green apples and citrus fruit, it is fresh and vivid on the palate.

"My lemon meringue tart is equally tasty," said Pilarczyk

Lemon meringue tart

"My lemon meringue tart is equally tasty, and both dishes can be enjoyed on our sundeck, in the summer sunshine, with a glass of crisp white wine," Pilarczyk enthused.

Recipe - serves two



• 250g flour

• 125g cold butter

• 1 egg

• 1 egg yolk

• 1 pinch of salt

• 1 sachet vanilla sugar

• 3 tbsp sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C). Grease a tart tin and dust with flour.

2. Knead together the flour, butter, eggs, salt and sugars.

3. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and press into the tart tin, leaving a rim about 3cm high.

4. Prick the pastry several times with a fork and cover with baking paper. Blind bake with baking beans for about 15 minutes on the lower rack, then remove and leave to cool.

Lemon filling


• 2 eggs

• 2 egg yolks

• 1 tbsp cornflour

• 120g icing sugar

• 150ml lemon juice

• 1 tsp lemon zest


1. Whisk the eggs and yolks until frothy.

2. Put all the remaining ingredients into a saucepan, whisk together and then warm gently over a medium heat.

3. Add the egg mixture and heat again, stirring, until the liquid thickens. Do not allow to boil.

4. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pastry case and smooth it out. Turn the oven down to 160C (fan 140C).

Meringue topping


• 3 egg whites

• Pinch of salt

• 150g icing sugar


1. Beat the egg whites with the salt. Then add the icing sugar, beating all the time. Continue beating until the mixture is stiff.

2. Pour the mixture on top of the unbaked tart and spread roughly with a pastry spatula to make a few peaks.

3. Bake the tart on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

4. For full effect, finish the meringue with a blowtorch (optional).

Wine choice

Muscat de Rivesaltes – a sweet white made from Muscat grapes, giving it a floral aroma with ripe fruity notes.

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