Holland America Line expands culinary offerings on cruise ships through its Culinary Council
This weekend TravelingMamas.com attending an announcement and tasting event on Holland America Line’s Eurodam cruise ship in Port of Ft. Lauderdale. The event began with Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line sharing personal stories of his recent experiences on the itineraries to Cuba, along with touching on a few of the new offerings across the cruise line. He was followed by Michael Smith, SVP, Guest Experience and Product Development, who unveiled new culinary and beverage parterships.
At the end of the presentation, the Culinary Council members in attendance gathered on stage before leading us all to the Pinnacle Grill dining venue to sample a few of the new culinary offerings this innovative team of top-name chefs will feature across Holland America Line.
The Welcome Reception
As our group entered The Showroom theatre on the ms Eurodam, we were greeted with glasses of NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, selected by James Suckling, newly announced Wine consultant for the cruise line. James also selected a 2016 Attems Sauvignon Blanc and a 2013 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon to pair with our tasting menu.
Servers also walked around offering Spicy Tuna in Fried Won Ton Cone, Crispy Shrimp Tempura and Avocado Roll, and Lobster with Wasabi Mayonniase created by Andy Matsuda, A lovely Foie Gras Lollipop was also served, created by Jonnie Boer.
The Main Attraction
Our first course (Amuse Bouche) was by Rudi Sodamin, the legendary and highly decorated Master Chef of Holland America Line. We enjoyed his Grilled Scallop, Caviar and Seaweed Salad with citrus foam. I could have enjoyed a few of these, as they were divine.
The salad course was created by Elizabeth Falkner, celebrity chef and judge from Bravo and Food Network. The Roasted and Raw Carrot Salad with Omega Seeds, served with labneh cheese, oranges, mint, and cilantro was flavorful and interesting. It brings a healthier side to the dining experience along with an upscale taste that is indicative to HAL’s culinary experience.
We had the choice between two main dishes. I opted for Ethan Sowell’s Seared Fresh Hamachi with Fried Artichokes, controne beans, and arugala. My colleague chose David Burke’s Aged Beef Tenderloin, Warm Shrimp with Brussel sprouts salad, and B1 sauce. Both chefs have taken the basic fish or beef dishes and prepared them with just enough creativity to please any palate.
The Grand Finale
The dessert course, always my favorite, did not disappoint. Jacques Torres, chocolate genius, created a Chocolate Puff Pastry Craquelin with pastry cream and praline. If I would have been alone, and not in polite company, I probably would have figured out some way to scrape and lick the chocolate that was still on the plate at the finish. It was the perfect ending to a lovely introduction of Holland America Line’s newest members of the Culinary Council.
I’m looking forward to my continued explorations of Holland America Line as I discover all the Partnerships they’ve added to their signature cruise line experience. And as someone who enjoys the culinary side of life, along with a nice glass of wine, this will be a pleasurable and tasty journey.
Thanks to Holland America Line for inviting Traveling Mamas to attend their event before Seatrade Cruise Global. As always, opinions are my own. Follow on their social channels at @HALCruises, @ChefAndyMatsuda, @ChefDavidBurke, @ChefFalkner, @ESRseattle, @JacquesTorres, @JamesSuckling