May 01, 2006

Six Course Lunch on the Bay On Monday I participated in one of my first industry activities, a tour of a cruise ship and a passenger dining experience...that is a gourmet six-course lunch in the main dining room. As I have never sailed on a cruise this was a bit of an adventure. I'm not here to give my personal preferences on this type of travel but merely to give a peek into lunch. Cruise ship cuisine, due to market competition, been upgraded in the past few years. Norwegian Cruise Lines first embarked on this effort when it introduced specialty restaurants on its ships. While the desire and ability may exist in the galley the challenge is the ingredients. According to a recent New York Times article, chefs need to know that they will have access to ingredients worldwide and that the quality of those ingredients will be consistent. Remember some of these ships can accommodate up to 1,800 people--it's a small floating city. Many celebrity chefs are at the helm, ok in the kitchen consulting--Jacques Pepin for Oceania; Charlie Palmer for Seabourn; Todd English is over at Cunard; Jacques Thorel for SilverSea and Nobu Matsuhisa for Crystal and the big coup was Carnival hiring 3-star Michelin chef Georges Blanc who is going to overhaul the whole dining experience from menus to training. Celebrity, the line I was touring, has 2-star Michelin chef and noted cookbook author Michel Roux, who designs the menu and wine lists, while also assisting with training the executive restaurant staff. He...
Gourmet Institute - Program Gourmet has announced the program for the 2006 Gourmet Institute. As many of you know, because you voted I won the December 'Cook the Cover' challenge with my Black & Tan cookie recipe, I am all geared to attend this all paid foodie extravaganza. The program, as you can see, is a smorgasbord of culinary bites. The editors contacted me and encouraged, nay insisted I make my selections immediately. Here's what I've selected. Saturday - I've created an around the world cooking lesson program. I hope my taste buds are up to the challenge. Mastering Moles with Roberto Santibañez of New York's popular Rosa Mexicano. Chef Santibañez has won many awards and writes for Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Martha Stewart Living. Trained in Paris via his hometown of Mexico City he is well-known for his application of French technique to sophisticated and contemporary Mexican dishes. I certainly hope he's going to let us in on the secrets behind his white mole, a blend of almonds, capers and olives. Africa on My Mind taught by the incomparable Marcus Samuelsson. Aquavit, the restaurant which he owns and serves as executive chef was one of my first serious dining experiences. It's one of those outstandingly remarkable meals that is crystal clear in my mind. He's long spoken of opening an Ethiopian restaurant, perhaps this is where I'll get my first exposure and taste of what he's planning. New Indian Cooking with Floyd Cardoz of Tabla and Bread Bar whom New York Magazine defines...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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