Holland America Line’s new cookbook, “A Taste of Elegance,” written by the cruise line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, is now available in bookstores. A sequel to “A Taste of Excellence,” it contains recipes from the ships’ dining room and alternative dining venues, including recipes from Tamarind, the new pan-Asian restaurant aboard ms Eurodam.
The new book’s theme of elegance is reflected not only in the recipes themselves, but also in their presentation, which is superbly captured in beautiful photographs of finished dishes. The 10 chapters of “A Taste of Elegance” contain recipes for everything from appetizers through dessert.
“The new cookbook will inspire guests to recreate fine dining moments from their cruise in their own homes,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “The recipes capture flavors from all over the world and present them in a straightforward manner for any cook—expert or novice.”
Sodamin passes on his “kitchen wisdom” in helpful hints throughout the cookbook, from purchasing ingredients to preparing the dishes. They cover such subjects as buying zucchini, toasting nuts, peeling tomatoes or cooking shrimp.
The recipes, of course, are the heart of the cookbook. To name but a few:
Entrees -- a Land and Sea combination of Filet Mignon and Shrimp from the Pinnacle Grill restaurant; Vietnamese-Style Lamb with Mint from ms Eurodam ’s Tamarind Asian restaurant; Rigatoni with Cauliflower, Parley and Hazelnuts from Eurodam’s Canaletto restaurant (soon to be on ms Oosterdam, ms Veendam, ms Noordam and ms Amsterdam).
Appetizers – Tomato and Goat Cheese Tartlets; Escargots Baked in Oyster Shells; Smoked Salmon Rosette on Pumpernickel Bread, to name a few. Soups – Chilled Cucumber; Chilled Banana and Coconut; Tamarind’s Chicken with Wild Lime and Rice Stick Noodles. And Desserts – Peach and Raspberry Trifle; Chocolate Zabaglione Sauce with Ice Cream and Raspberries.
These are but a sampling of the recipes contained in nearly 200 pages. One entire chapter is devoted to sauces and dressings to enhance the flavor of dishes. In an introduction to that chapter, Sodamin notes that the recipes he shares “are ways to make even the simplest salad, meat or poultry presentation into something exciting and memorable.”
Sodamin introduces each book chapter with a narrative explaining more about the recipes that follow, suggestions to those who would make them, and how they are used on the ships. Sodamin also writes a forward to the book, his tenth cookbook, about the life of a master chef. He recounts how he discovered a love for cooking at an early age and wrote his first cookbook at the age of 23. He says a prime responsibility as Holland America’s master chef is to “cook up ideas.”
Sodamin’s ideas have been instrumental in the development of Holland America Line’s popular culinary program on board the ships. Guest flock to the Culinary Art Center to watch cooking demonstrations by guest chefs and the ships’ own outstanding chefs and sign up for small-group cooking lessons. The centers are equipped with state-of-the art cooking facilities set in a theater with audio-video systems to provide intimate viewing of the demonstrations. The culinary experience extends throughout the ships’ many dining venues with their innovative menus. “A Taste of Elegance” and its forerunner, “A Taste of Excellence” are further extensions of the experience.
“A Taste of Elegance” is available on the ships and through major retail bookstores.