Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Aegean Sea Cruise: Chef’s Table Dining Experience
One of the best kept secrets however is something called “Chef’s Table”. It is very limited- in fact out of the entire ship of nearly 3,000 passengers, they only offer three seatings of 12 people each, for a maximum of 36 people who will experience it per cruise. It is a private dining experience with a menu personally created and prepared by the Executive Chef himself. The Executive Chef is the head food honcho and is of gourmet chef quality. I thought I’d share photos of our magnificent and memorable dining experience:
The evening started off with a tour of the kitchens and galley. We learned about how the kitchens operate and feed 3,000 passengers and nearly 2,000 crew everyday. For example- the use 10,000 eggs EVERY DAY. Anyway, after the kitchen tour, we enjoyed champagne with a round of hors doers that were a meal in and of itself:
above: it was fun to see how the regular kitchens prepare and serve dinner for so many people each night. these are Cesar salads ready to go to the dining room.
above: the kitchens were immaculate, all stainless steel and clean as a whistle.
above: while on the pre-tour, we saw kitchen staff busy preparing food
above: this ice sculpture was waiting for us as we entered the kitchen
above: in the kitchen, the tour started with champagne. They had these wonderful fruit and vegetable carvings to greet us.
above: The Executive Chef begins the tour for us
above: here was one of the waiters serving the next appetizer...
above: Ahi Tuna Tartar with wasabi, pickled ginger served in Belgian endive
above: Bistro mini cheese tarts with truffle mushrooms and truffle oil, and cherry tomato
above: Tartlets of Bliss red potatoes with sour cream and sevruga caviar
above: Blue Crab margarita with avocado and mango. Since I am allergic to shellfish, they made a special one for me.
above: I forgot to put these below. They were served in between courses
above: it was a Lemon Sorbet, made from fresh lemons picked up on the Amalfi coast in Italy, served with Mango slaw and a chocolate garnish.
We then moved to the dining room, where a table was set beautifully. In the interests of my Internet time, I’ll just share the balance of the photos for you to enjoy:
above: the table was beautifully set
above: a close up of the table setting
above: the waiters were very attentive
above: the wines were carefully decanted and served by the wine steward
above: Risotto of mushrooms and asparagus tips with fresh cheese
above: Roasted Veal shank, carved tableside with cepes & jus and chateu potatoes
above: Veal tenderloin, roasted and then sauteed with a wonderful sauce tableside
above: Both were served with fresh vegetables. It was exquisite.
Onto the Grand Finale Course:
above: Passion fruit dome cake, whiskey soaked raspberry soft center and a mango glace
above: Potted stilton cheese, drizzled with port wine, and served with walnut bread
above: Home made biscotti and amaretti cookies. This was truly a memorable dining experience. After dinner we were presented with signed copies of the chef's cookbook and photos of our experience. I would highly recommend this to anyone!
Today and tomorrow we’re in Egypt! My next post should be from Cairo, so stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by.
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