Imagine sailing with a well-known executive chef from a famous restaurant or an inspiring culinary television personality. Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center program makes these dreams a reality by inviting chefs from kitchens and restaurants all around the country and making them part of the guest enrichment program. While on board, the guest chefs and experts offer culinary demonstrations, tastings and hands-on cooking classes to guests, in addition to participating in question and answer sessions.
In partnership with “Food and Wine” magazine, Holland America Line has scheduled approximately 60 celebrated chefs and wine experts to sail in 2009. On cruises that do not have a guest chef on board, classes and demonstrations in the show kitchen are scheduled with Holland America’s own expert chefs.
“The Culinary Arts Center is a guest favorite, and the variety of talent we get on board is always impressive,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Our guests look forward to seeing how we’re going to ‘wow’ them with our enhanced enrichment program, and this culinary program is one of the many highlights of our premium cruise experience.”
The line partners with “Food & Wine” magazine to provide guests on select cruises the opportunity to experience demonstrations and seminars conducted by a wide range of culinary experts.
This season Holland America Line will welcome well-known personalities such as Captain Keith Colburn from Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” sailing on ms Westerdam June 7 — 14 in Alaska; George Duran of “Ham on the Street” on the Food Network sailing aboard ms Amsterdam Aug. 29 — Sept. 5 in Alaska; “Top Chef” contestant Richard Blaise sailing on ms Maasdam Oct. 23 — Nov. 6 in the Caribbean; and Christina Pirello of “Christina Cooks” on PBS sailing aboard ms Zuiderdam Aug. 8 — 15 in Alaska. In addition to world-famous chefs, the Culinary Arts Program includes cookbook authors as well as chocolatiers and tablescape experts.
A selection of participating chefs and experts in the continuing 2009 season include:
· Oliver Reschreiter, executive chef at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert, Calif., sailing on ms Ryndam June 19 — 26, Alaska.
· Lee Hilson, executive chef at the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix, Ariz., sailing on ms Oosterdam June 24 — July 6, Mediterranean.
· Randy Lewis, executive chef of La Provence in Lacombe, La., sailing on ms Noordam June 28 — July 8, Mediterranean.
· Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, authors of the “Ultimate” cookbook series sailing on ms Prinsendam July 3 — 17, British Isles.
· Stewart Woodman, executive chef at Heidi’s in Minneapolis, Minn., sailing on ms Maasdam July 18 — 25, Canada/New England.
· Scott Tycer, executive chef at Gravitas in Houston, Texas, sailing on ms Rotterdam Aug. 11 — 23, Baltic.
· Olga Krasnoff, designer of tabletop landscapes, sailing on ms Eurodam Aug. 27 —Sept. 6, Canada/New England.
· David McMillan, corporate executive chef of Consilient Restaurants sailing on ms Prinsendam Sept. 6 — 20, Western Europe.
· Ryan Hardy, executive chef of Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., sailing on ms Rotterdam Oct. 3 — 17, Mediterranean.
· Jacques Torres, master pastry chef and chocolatier, sailing on ms Oosterdam Oct. 17 — Nov. 2, Transatlantic.
· Maria Hines, executive chef of Tilth in Seattle, Wash., sailing on ms Zuiderdam Oct. 24 — Nov. 3, Panama Canal.
The program began in 2005 when the line installed state-of-the-art Culinary Arts Centers aboard each of its premium ships. A first-class “show kitchen at sea,” the Culinary Arts Centers resemble the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs. Each facility features a theater-style venue, with two large plasma video screens and a large cooking display counter where guests can learn from the masters.
Holland America Line also offers a youth Culinary Arts Center activity program to teach kids and teens how to cook. The program incorporates dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in complimentary 45-minute-long classes. Kids under eight years old learn to make theme cookies, fruit roll-ups, ice cream sandwiches, salad people art and scones. Kids eight and over make soft pretzels, granola bars, pita chips and hummus, and saltwater taffy. Teens also can attend adult culinary demonstrations.
In addition to partnering with “Food & Wine” to secure top experts, Holland America Line showcases its own culinary stars on more than 500 annual cruises with demonstrations, tastings and hands-on cooking classes given by the ships’ executive chefs and culinary staff. The line’s cookbook, “A Taste of Excellence” written by Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, offers guests preparation techniques for some of Holland America’s most delectable dishes and lavish libations as part of the Culinary Arts Center experience. Sodamin’s second Holland America Line cookbook, “A Taste of Elegance,” is due out in March, 2009.
Holland America Line ships are the perfect setting to showcase award-winning guest experts. In addition to the enrichment experience provided by the culinary stars on board, passengers can dine in a variety of venues, including everything from a quick bite poolside to a formal five-course affair. Every ship features an elegant main dining room, a sophisticated Pinnacle Grill where guests can sample Sterling Silver beef and fresh seafood, the casual indoor-outdoor Lido Restaurant, and the Terrace Grill on deck for lunchtime fare.