By Director of Culinary Enrichment & Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly
This winter, join us for a memorable immersion into the Caribbean islands’ flavorful traditional cuisine. Across the Caribbean, locals are ready to welcome visitors back their islands with their characteristic charm and hospitality, and what better way to explore it than with a culinary adventure that takes you behind the scenes for insider experiences?
This culinary season celebrates the Age of Exploration, when discoveries of the first explorers to cross the Atlantic to the New World transformed the cuisines of the Old World. These new Culinary Discovery Tours take you ashore to reveal how native foods and Old World transplants have combined to create the diverse and flavorful cuisine of the Caribbean today. As I’ve cruised this region and shopped the local markets – or the latest bumper crop overflowing from a truck bed! – I’ve discovered that nowhere is seasonal cooking embraced more than in the Caribbean. Working alongside our local guest chefs, we learn how the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs of the islands inspire unique recipes that tell a proud story of origin and tradition. After some practice in The Culinary Center, you’ll be ready to make these recipes at home as you fondly remember your Caribbean cruise!
Our Caribbean Culinary Discovery Tours this winter include:
Castries, St. Lucia | Spices Cooking Studio
Discover the subtleties of authentic St. Lucian cuisine during a hands-on cooking class using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Visit the famous open-air Castries Market where many local and seasonal ingredients can be found. As you learn how to prepare several traditional dishes, perhaps including the national dish of green fig and salt fish salad, gain insight on the cuisine’s Creole, French and West Indies influences. Savor your lunch alfresco with beautiful views of the sea.
Cozumel, Mexico | Chef Market Tour & Onboard Mayan Cooking Class
Fascinating for the true culinary explorer, this tour invites you to search for exotic Yucatecan fruits and vegetables such as chayote squash, pitahaya cactus and saramuyo at the local market and taste flavorful regional specialties, all accompanied by a local master chef. Your immersion into Yucatecan cuisine and Mayan chocolate continues back on board with a delicious lunch of traditional dishes and hands-on cooking class during which our local chef will share secrets of revered recipes that have survived thousands of years.
Harvest Caye, Belize | Spice Farm & Botanical Garden & Onboard Cooking Class
For the tropical plant lover, this journey to a lush Belizean paradise will delight your senses as you get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the meticulously maintained Belize Spice Farm & Botanical Garden. You’ll have the chance to explore the farm and garden, located in the foothills of the Maya Mountains and home to one of the largest black pepper and vanilla farms in the country. Cap the entire experience off with a hands-on cooking class back on board at The Culinary Center using local spices and ingredients harvested from the garden.
Roatan, Honduras | Hydroponic Farm Tour & Onboard Tropical Cooking Class
An authentic and eco-friendly culinary experience, this tour immerses you in Roatan’s unique gastronomic scene, marked by a fusion of rich influences from Africa, Spain and Central America. Visit the Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum for insider access to the indigenous gardens and hydroponic greenhouse, plus learn all about seasonal exotic fruit such as nispero and coco plum and the harvesting of local cashews. Back on board at The Culinary Center, partake in a cooking class with a well-known local chef to master a few special recipes featuring the famed Roatan pink shrimp, and enjoy an island-fresh lunch and dessert cocktail.
I look forward to sharing some Caribbean culinary secrets with you this winter!