The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, one of the most emblematic trains in the world, welcomes a well-known French starred chef: Jean Imbert.
Jean Imbert explains that this appointment allows him to realise his dream of "becoming part of the history of this iconic train by enhancing the culinary experience of passengers". His adventure will begin with the train's first trip in the 2022 season across Europe.
The chef has decided to combine the gastronomic heritage of the train with his cuisine, which focuses on fresh seasonal produce. To do this, he calls on local producers and farmers as well as specialised craftsmen, according to the seasons and his inspiration.
The chef's new concept is present in every menu and in every experience that guests can enjoy. Whether it is breakfast served directly in the cabin, lunch, afternoon tea, aperitif or dinner. Specialities can be ordered day or night from the cabins.
Jean Imbert also redesigned the atmosphere and visual identity of the three dining cars dating from the 1920s: the Oriental, the Étoile du Nord and the Côte d'Azur. The new identity, designed with renowned architects, reflects his vision while retaining the "golden age of travel charm" that these dining cars represent.
The chef will bring the talent he has acquired throughout his career to this unique train. In particular, he had just won a Michelin star while working at the Plaza Athénée restaurant. His popularity with the French after his participation in the cooking show Top Chef should undoubtedly attract fans and the curious.
By entering the history of the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, I am fulfilling a childhood dream. I feel that the stars have aligned for me to seize the opportunity of a lifetime, and I look forward to passing on the great passion I have for this train by cooking for our guests, this season and for seasons to come.
Jean Imbert, Chef of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
We are delighted to invite Jean Imbert to unleash his creativity through the gastronomic offering of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Gastronomic cuisine is one of the pillars of the journey and our guests make lasting memories around the meals they enjoy, from breakfast in their cabins to the formal dinner on board. Jean Imbert takes culinary excellence to a whole new level, perpetuating the legend and mystery of the world's most famous train.
Pascal Deyrolle, General Manager of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express