Costa Cruises is offering two exclusive menus for its Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners.  They have been specially devised for connoisseurs by a one-off partnership between Carlo Cracco (two Michelin stars) and Benedetta Parodi, one of Italy’s most popular TV chefs.

The menus stemming from this extraordinary alliance have been created not only for the lucky cruisers who have chosen one of Costa’s sailings during the festive season – in the United Arab Emirates and the Mediterranean – but also for everyone ‘cruising on the Internet’, who will be able to try them out for themselves in the comfort of their own homes.

Every Friday during Advent, Costa Cruises will post a recipe on its social networks; all Costa fans can find details of the recipes and cooking tips from the chefs with videos, photos and posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube  and the “C”Blog, Costa Cruises’ official blog.

Carlo Cracco and Benedetta Parodi have been chosen by Costa Cruises for this Christmas ‘mission’ because they are two very popular personalities in Italy and also both fine interpreters of the country’s inimitable culinary culture, based on simple high quality ingredients combined in original ways.  The choice also reflects Costa Cruises’ determination to export the very best Italian excellence around the world on board its 15 ships.

The Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners on the Costa Cruises fleet will be supervised by   Costa Cruises Executive Chef Stefano Fontanesi, who is responsible for ensuring compliance with quality standards that are the distinguishing feature of the cuisine on offer on all the Costa Crociere Group’s ships.

The festive menus are unprecedented because, while consistent with Italian tradition, they are a superb blend of Cracco’s creative flair and the wholesome flavor and practicality of Parodi’s approach to the culinary arts. Classic Italian staples for the holiday season like cotechino, a fresh pork sausage traditionally served with stewed lentils, will be reinterpreted adding brio to the festive atmosphere at the dining table.  For example, lentils will be used to garnish a lobster salad together with sprouts, celery and a bisque (thick cream shellfish soup), while cotechino will be served as a starter with a truffle fondue.  On the menu there are also traditional Christmas dishes like guinea fowl and panettone.

The menu will be accompanied by a selection of fine wines produced by Aneri, a label that has become one of Costa Cruises’ partners and a synonym for top-of-the-range quality.  Highly recommended wines for the Christmas and New Year’s Eve tables are the Leda Bianco doc 2009 Aneri, the Pinot Nero doc  2008 Aneri and the much sought after Prosecco di Valdobbiadene doc “Aneri” N° 1.

Costa’s end-of-year cruises are always favorites with the Italian Company’s customers.  This year approximately 70,000 Guests will be taking a Christmas and/or New Year’s Eve cruise vacation with some 15 ships deployed on itineraries in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, United Arab Emirates, Indian Ocean, Far East, Caribbean, South America and Red Sea.