Chef/Mate: Erika Marhuenda
Erika Marhuenda Bru, is from the city of Elche, on the Mediterranean Sea, Spain and has been exposed to the amazing influences of Spanish cuisine. From as early as she can remember, she has loved cooking and being around the sights and smells of her grandmother’s kitchen, learning new recipes and trying different foods, from paellas, tortilla española, gazpacho and many other Spanish delights.
She continued to pursue her passion for cooking as a hobby while studying civil engineering at Alicante University in Spain and in her third year she studied abroad in Palermo, Italy, where pizza, pasta, and other incredibly mouth watering combinations of fresh local ingredients were in abundance, not to mention the gelatos and exquisite cornettos. This made her fall in love with the fascinating Italian gastronomy and awoke her curiosity for new cultures and customs.
She spent many years in the construction industry after college, both in Spain and in London, working on many fascinating projects (one in particular, the New Tottenham Hotspur stadium). Following that she travelled through Australia, then on to the USA, Cuba, Colombia, Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, including India and Nepal, Thailand and Laos. All the while observing and learning new cooking techniques from all these cultures.
Although she always felt connected to the ocean it was when she tried scuba diving for the first time in Thailand, that she was blown away and fell in love with the underwater world, leading her to become a certified divemaster. She will be delighted to share this underwater world with her guests.
She is absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to continue her global adventures in the Caribbean as the chef on Esperanza, bringing her culinary skills onboard, to create new dishes and share the ones she loves most with those onboard.
Jage and Erika are looking forward to making sure you have a truly unforgettable vacation with them on Esperanza II.