Princess' Chef's Table, the exclusive dining experience that debuted to rave reviews earlier this year aboard Emerald Princess, will now be introduced across the line's fleet.
Currently available on Emerald Princess, Crown Princess and Caribbean Princess, the Chef's Table is scheduled to debut aboard most vessels in the fleet in early 2008. The line's smaller ships, Tahitian Princess, Pacific Princess and Royal Princess are not part of the initial roll-out but are hoped to offer the program at a later date.
Designed as a unique treat for "foodies," Chef's Table experience offers a select group of gourmands the rare opportunity to be welcomed into the inner sanctum of the ship's galley to enjoy a full evening of memorable sights, tastes and conversation hosted by the executive chef. While many passengers are able to enjoy galley tours during the quiet off-hours, the Chef's Table experience takes interested diners behind the scenes during the height of dinner preparation where they'll also enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a special multi-course tasting dinner paired with selected wines in the dining room.
Participants in Emerald Princess' first season of Chef's Table evenings may have felt like dining room celebrities as other passengers stopped to snap pictures and admire the striking table set-up and unique menu selections.
"We knew many of our guests would enjoy this unusual close-up view of our culinary operations, but we were truly surprised by the tremendous interest - it's sold out every cruise," said Rai Caluori, Princess' executive vice president of fleet operations. "Hosting the Chef's Table requires an impressive level of dedication from our talented culinary team, but they've committed to offering it on rest of our fleet because we wanted to offer as many guests as possible the opportunity to enjoy this exclusive culinary experience."
The Chef's Table begins when the Maitre d' personally escorts the passengers to the galley where they can observe the bustle of dinner-hour preparations and meet the executive chef, plus enjoy French champagne with appetizers. The chef previews the details of the menu he created for that evening, and the group is welcomed to their special table in the dining room. The multi-course menu is specially created by the chef, and is not offered anywhere else on the ship. The fare might include anything from a focus on regional cuisine to a showcase of indigenous ingredients from a recent port. Each course is accompanied by a detailed explanation of special features, preparation methods, and tasting suggestions. Specially selected wines complement the meal. During the dessert course, the chef rejoins the group at their private table to participate in a discussion about the evening's meal, answer questions, and share culinary secrets perfected during many years of experience at sea and on land.
Additionally, each couple at the Chef's Table will receive a personalized autographed copy of Princess' best-selling cookbook, Courses, A Culinary Journey, which has sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide and is available on amazon.com. Guests will also enjoy a complimentary photo taken at the private table with the chef.
The Chef's Table experience can be reserved by up to 10 passengers per night, at a cost of $75 per person. Reservations are made onboard through the ship's DINE telephone line or in person at the dining reservations table set up on the first day of the cruise.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.