While Cruise West’s Voyages of the Great Explorers is global in scope, the star of onboard dining is most definitely local.
An artful blend and variety of regional delights sets the table for global culinary adventure, culled from many ports of call that highlight Cruise West’s 24 worldwide voyages.
“As we planned the menu for this global voyage, we thought why not engage our onboard chefs to explore the local cuisine and prepare entrées based on ingredients available in the countries visited,” said Douglas Kramer, executive corporate chef. “It presents our staff with opportunities to entertain and educate our guests via a sampling of local culinary delights that complements the theme of each voyage. And it allows us to support local communities by procuring fresh and healthy ingredients.”
Since the cruise set sail on March 6 from Singapore, guests on board the line’s flagship 60-suite Spirit of Oceanus are dining on sumptuous fare. The line developed and introduced a culinary program ‘Palate’ in 2009 that has become a signature hallmark of Cruise West, featuring an expertly crafted dining experience through distinctive food and wine pairings. Menu selections highlight the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest (the line is Seattle-based) as well as regional cuisine.
Reflecting the spirit of exploration of the 24 exotic voyages, the Oceanus’ chef shops local markets at each port of call and then prepares a soup and entrée selection indigenous to that destination. Based on research of the country’s traditions, the chef and servers describe each nightly regional offering, explaining its particular cultural connection. For example, Thai food is known for its balance of five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall
meal: hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty and bitter. On the voyage that includes Thailand, the chef’s are cooking up Crispy Catfish Green Mango Salad ‘Yum
Pla Dook Foo.’ Where applicable, local wines are paired with the regional selection, further extending the regional history and culture represented in food.
From Myanmar to New Zealand, the ambitious itinerary of the global journey is reflected in the preparation of regional cuisine. Guests can anticipate such local delights as Persian Duck in Pomegranate Walnut Sauce from Iran to White Fish Pie from Malta to Coconut Ahi Ceviche from Polynesia to Mousaka from Greece.
And just for variety, the sturdy American hamburger is well represented on the cruise as well. In fact, the ship’s culinary staff is pressing their own specially seasoned burger patties for lunch or dinner staring a different Chefs Gourmet burger each day, accompanied by freshly baked buns.
Each of the 24 meticulously crafted itineraries from Asia to the Mediterranean, Europe to the Americas and throughout the South Pacific, offers the most discerning and well-traveled guests an array of distinctive choices and authentic experiences.