Silversea Cruises has announced that 20 voyages in 2012 will feature Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs interactive cooking school.

Silversea said it offers the only Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs cooking school at sea. The innovative program -- which is offered free of charge -- provides guests with a special culinary curriculum, including hands-on instruction, and entertaining events hosted by Silversea culinary trainer David Bilsland, a former instructor at the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London. He presents a program developed in collaboration with Jacques Thorel, the owner of L'Auberge Bretonne and a consulting Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.

The curriculum for each of these cruises is carefully designed to celebrate the cultural flavor of the ship's itinerary, according to Silversea. Highlights include specialized workshops covering a range of topics from basic knife skills and kitchen terminology to sauces and baking; cooking demonstrations with wine pairings and interactive Q&A sessions; lively cooking competitions between Chef Bilsland and the ship's own culinary team; a "Lunch and Learn" event offering small groups of guests a chance to sample a meal of specially prepared dishes; and inspired "Take It Home" recipes that will give guests an edge when entertaining at home.

Also offered on certain voyages, when the itinerary permits, is a "Market to Plate" experience that provides an escorted tour of a local market followed by a cooking class, and a "Culinary Outing," an instructor-escorted excursion to a local restaurant, hotel or other venue where guests can enjoy a unique culinary exploration.

"Our L'École des Chefs cooking school is a fun and entertaining enrichment program that lets guests discover new cooking techniques and sample dishes that highlight the culinary traditions of the ship's itinerary," said Rudi Scholdis, Silversea's director of culinary development.