Holland America hosts celebrity chefs on a delicious series of culinary cruises
If you’re a foodie or just love to eat, Holland America Line has a culinary cruise for you. A celebrity chef from the line’s Culinary Council will share their expertise in a variety of events during each cruise in its new Culinary Cruise Series.
“Holland America Line’s culinary program is guided by some of the world’s top talent, and no other cruise line has this level of experience from such a team of experts,” said Michael Stendebach, vice-president. president of the cruise line for food, drink and guests. services, in a press release. “It’s not every day that you learn a recipe directly from the celebrity chef who created it and hear their secrets to success in the kitchen. We look forward to re-engaging our talented chefs from the Culinary Council to return on board and provide guests with this exclusive level of access.
Each culinary cruise will include a cooking demonstration led by a celebrity chef and open to all guests. The chef will demonstrate techniques and recipes specific to his areas of expertise. Guests will receive recipes to take home with them. Signature cruise dishes prepared by the chef will be noted on restaurant menus. The highlight of the cruise will be an intimate reservation-only dinner at an upscale restaurant helmed by the Culinary Council chef. These special dinners are available for guests to pre-book for their respective cruises. Prices vary by chef and menu, ranging from $54 to $89 plus service charge.
Note: The Alaska cruise I took on the Holland America Westerdam was an organized press trip.
Zaandam9-day Atlantic Coast, October 1-10, 2022
The Zaandam A 9-day Atlantic Coast cruise from October 1-10, 2022 will take passengers from Montreal, Quebec to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Star chef Jacques Torres is a chef and artisan chocolatier trained in France. Expect to learn how to work chocolate. Torres guides the chocolate desserts on board and the surprise chocolate dessert parade. He was executive pastry chef at the famous Cirque de New York. He is a James Beard award winner and opened a chocolate factory and stores in New York. You can also enjoy seeing him as the head judge of the Netflix cooking show, Nailed it with Nicole Byer.
Koningsdam7 Day Mexican Riviera November 2019, 2022
The guests on board Koningsdam, 7-day Mexican Riviera, Nov. 12-19, 2022 round-trip from San Diego, Calif., will delight Executive Chef Rudi Sodamin, Chairman of the Culinary Council of Holland America Line. He oversees all aspects of onboard catering. Newer ships have Rudi’s Sel de Mer, its namesake French seafood brasserie. On other ships without a restaurant, there is a Rudi night at the Pinnacle Grill. His latest work is a tableware book, food faceswhich features over 150 images of edible creations.
New Amsterdam7 days in the Eastern Caribbean, December 4-11, 2022
The 7-day Nieuw Amsterdam, Eastern Caribbean, December 4-11, 2022, is a round trip from Fort Lauderdale. Chef David Burke has been featured on Iron Chef America and Masters of great chefs. Burke has enhanced the menu at Pinnacle Grill (an upscale restaurant on the line’s ships) with contemporary flavors and signature recipes. Burke’s #FeedTheHeroes program has prepared and delivered 100,000 meals to frontline workers and charities during the pandemic. He recently opened five new restaurants, including David Burke’s Orchard Park.
New Statendam10-Day Southern Caribbean Sailor, December 17-27, 2022
During the holidays, the New Statendam, 10-day Southern Caribbean Seafarer, December 17-27, 2022, will host chef Andy Matsuda. He was born in Japan and is a sushi master. He runs the sushi options at Tamarind, Nami Sushi and Lido Market. He teaches aspiring chefs and other professionals about sushi and Japanese cuisine at Matsuda’s Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles, California. He is a leader in sushi techniques and trends.
Holland America Line Port to Table program
If you’re looking for culinary experiences but culinary cruises aren’t for you, check out the Port to Table program. Activities vary by ship and itinerary. You can experience local flavors at a food and wine tasting and learn such things as which wine goes with which fruit. Watch a cooking demonstration and come away with a recipe you can try at home. There are also dining experiences such as a lavish feast featuring Western Australian cuisine.
On my recent cruise to Alaska, the Westerdam offered seafood porridge served in individual pots with a variety of fresh Alaskan seafood. It was such a fun event. Servers dressed in Alaskan lumberjack attire and presented each covered pot with panache. Tops were removed in unison with steam wafting through the air. We just saw it on a sign with other restaurant information. While on the ship, read your daily activity sheet and other information left in your cabin so you don’t miss a thing.
Each cruise itinerary features regional recipes created by the Culinary Council on all menus. Port-to-table menu items for Mexico include Crispy Pork Ceviche, Shrimp Aguachile, camaro (shrimp) quesadillas, Mexican adobo-style lamb shank, catfish escabeche, lamb birria, Oaxaca-style blackened tuna, and much more. Port to Table menu items for Australia and the South Pacific include spicy pork belly with pineapple salsa; braised lamb shoulder gremolata, seared Murray cod with couscous, australian flathead in panko parmesan crust, lamb shank, tuna nikkei, corn chowder with salmon, etc. So many tasty options. I think food and drink is a great way to experience a country’s culture.
Culinary experiences are not limited to the ship. There are a variety of shore excursions that offer culinary experiences. Guest chefs lead guided tours exploring local cuisines while sharing their experiences. There are culinary excursions in partnership with Gastronomy & Wine Magazine, like “A Taste of Peruvian Cuisine” or “Barbados Bites and Rum”. Try a Culinary Walk from Victoria or the Alaskan Cooking School in Tutka Bay.
All events are complimentary except for the specialty dinner aboard the Culinary Cruise. Each chef will be aboard their designated culinary cruises for four to ten days. For more information on Holland America Line, consult a travel consultant or visit their website.
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