I am so thrilled to announce that with the launch of Riviera this May, we will be expanding the enrichment programs of the Bon Appétit Culinary Center and introducing Culinary Discovery Tours in more than 25 ports worldwide.
As you may have surmised from all of my market visits over the past several months, we have been developing this program for some time. I have been so excited about all of our new plans for Riviera, as well as the other ships in the fleet, and it has been nearly impossible to hold my tongue until the official announcement was made to the press. But our secret is finally out, and I’m now free to share with you all of the new Bon Appétit Culinary Center experiences that you can enjoy in 2012.
Our Culinary Discovery Tours have been uniquely designed for each port, so that guests can now join me in exploring all of these fabulous local food markets I’ve been visiting over the past year. Chef Franck Garanger and I have recruited master chefs from all over the world to join the culinary center team on Riviera and Marina in 2012, and many of these chefs will lead market tours as well.
In Athens, you can visit the Agora meat and fish market and then have lunch in the Plaka.When in Barcelona, we’ll enjoy a Spanish olive oil tasting, shop at Santa Caterina Market — one of my favorites — and then finish the day with lunch at a tapas restaurant. And best of all, after many of the tours, we’ll haul all of our goodies back to the Bon Appétit Culinary Center for a cooking class inspired by our local market visit. I have so enjoyed sharing all of my market trips with you here on the blog, and it’s going to be even more fun now that guests will be able to join me.
We’ve also been feverishly working on some new curriculum for the culinary center, including classes such as Oceania Highlights, which features favorite recipes from Jacques, Red Ginger, Polo Grill and Toscana. Our guests have been clamoring to learn the secrets of these onboard restaurants forever! We’re also going to offer some shorter classes on “hot topics” in the culinary world like innovative cheeses and pairing food with cocktails. Of course, Jacques Pépin continues to be a great source of inspiration for us all, and we’re very excited to teach some of the techniques from his newest book, Essential Pépin.
For those of you sailing on Regatta and Nautica in 2012, you’ll be thrilled to learn that you can participate in Culinary Discovery Tours as well. We’ll be combining our excursions to local markets with classes at shoreside cooking schools and hands-on experiences in local restaurant kitchens. It all promises to be great fun and a wonderful learning experience. Stay tuned for more information on when these tours will be available on Regatta and Nautica
Oceania Cruises really is a cruise line for foodies, and we’ve always known that meant we had to do more than serve fantastic cuisine. We had to connect the onboard culinary experience to all the fabulous ports of call, so guests not only learn from chefs during classes and demonstrations, but also understand and appreciate the unique food and wine perspectives of the places we’re visiting. Our new Culinary Discovery Tours ensure that we will continue to achieve that goal, offering both the finest cuisine and the most extensive culinary enrichment programs to be found at sea.
Can you tell I am excited about this new program? I hope all of you have the chance to experience one of our new Culinary Discovery Tours very soon!
Executive Chef, Bon Appétit Culinary Center
Culinary Enrichment Director, Oceania Cruises