Fish Recipe: Estonian Creamy Fish Soup

By Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly

Over the years as we have traveled and explored the markets of the Baltic and Scandinavia, our chefs have developed a love of earthy Nordic food, ingredients, techniques, and traditions. One of our most popular chefs, Karlis Celms, came to us from Riga, Latvia as our local chef host leading our Culinary Discovery Tour through the Riga market.

This excursion, Chef’s Market Tour & Latvian Cooking Lesson, takes you on an insider’s tour of Europe’s largest market and bazaar, Riga Central Market. You have the chance to taste local specialties such as smoked herring, local cheeses, traditional rye breads, and regional sweet treats — plus we shop for ingredients for your cooking class. You’ll have ample time to take in the unique atmosphere and architecture of this bustling UNESCO World Heritage site. You also get a great panoramic tour of Riga as we travel to and from the market – keep an eye out for the famed Art Nouveau Street, where you can really get a good look at the stunning architecture of this city.

Back on board at The Culinary Center, we dive into a true farm-to-table cooking experience as we prepare traditional dishes such as Latvian meatballs in a cream gravy and root potato mash as well as seasonal berries made into a chutney or perhaps spring mushrooms for a duxelle tart. It all depends on what we find in the market! We top it all off with a delicious lunch paired with artisanal beers we specially select – a true celebration of all that makes Nordic cuisine so special.

So start planning your next culinary adventure with us and cook up a Nordic feast with this delicious fish soup – one of my favorites from Latvia’s neighboring country, Estonia.

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Serves 4

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely diced onion
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, cold
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups 1-inch red new potato cubes
½ pound salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pound halibut fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 to 2 teaspoons fish sauce
Coarsely ground white and pink peppercorns, to taste
2 tablespoons each chopped fresh dill and chopped chives

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sweat the onions with the allspice, bay leaves, and thyme until onions soften and aromas bloom, about  6 minutes. Add the cold stock, cream and potatoes and simmer until potatoes are al dente, about 10 minutes. Add the fish and continue to simmer until the fish is cooked, about 5 minutes. Taste and add fish sauce and cracked pepper to season.

Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with dill and chives – and enjoy!


Sommelier’s Recommended Australia & New Zealand Wines

What better way to acquaint yourself with the volcanic landscape and lush forests of New Zealand and the multicultural verve and wild outback of Australia than with some wine? Whether you are dreaming of exploring the vineyards of Auckland and sipping wine harbor-side in Sydney — or are simply in the mood for some wine from Down Under, we have some delicious choices for you. Read on for our sommelier’s top three selections!

Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc

Marlborough, New Zealand

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Winemaker’s Notes | This crisp and vibrant wine has aromas of fresh snow peas, zesty limes, and freshly picked herbs such as thyme and sage. On the palate, juicy acidity is balanced with flavors of melon, passion fruit, and ruby grapefruit, capturing the essence of Marlborough.

Pairing Suggestions | Perfect with any seafood, especially freshly steamed mussels

Available in the Grand Dining Room

Deakin Estate Shiraz

Victoria, Australia

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Winemaker’s Notes | Deep, vibrant red in color. Nose is full of berry fruits including blackberries and mulberries with alluring notes of malt, almond, and mocha. Palate is rich and juicy with ripe dark berry flavors and well-balanced oak. The palate shows good structure with medium tannins and a lingering finish.

Pairing Suggestions | Baked lasagna, hearty beef and stout pie, roasted rack of lamb, or an aged sirloin topped with a red wine sauce

Available in the Grand Dining Room

Yangarra Estate Cadenzia

McLaren Vale, South Australia

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Winemaker’s Notes | This Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre blend is deep red with intense perfume and elegance. The nose is a mix of beetroot, cherries, and crème caramel. Flavors of blackberry, bing cherry, mulberry, plums, nuts, and subdued oak flavors slowly taper off to a lingering finish. The flavors are rich and lush with black fruits and silky tannins. Airing the wine reveals characteristic flavors of dark chocolate, flint, dried roses, and lavender.

Pairing Suggestions | Grilled pepper steak

Available in the Grand Dining Room & Red Ginger

Cheers, mate!


A Night at the Grand Dining Room

By Oceania Cruises Guest Carol B.

Whenever I enter the Grand Dining Room, a sense of serenity overcomes me. My husband and I love the specialty restaurants, but there’s something timeless and classic about the Grand Dining Room that we always look forward to. We feel at home there. The staff welcomes us, knows us by name and so the night begins, under the sparkling chandelier. 


A Local’s Guide to French Polynesia

with Chief Purser Maiana TunoaChief Purser - Maiana Tunoa rt

Hibiscus-laden islands, infinite shades of blue, overwater
bungalows and sultry breezes – French Polynesia is quite possibly the most beautiful place on the planet and has inspired incredible tales of exploration throughout the ages. So how do you even begin to plan for your voyage to this Garden of Eden? You ask a local, of course.

We caught up with French Polynesian native and Oceania Cruises’ Chief Purser Maiana Tunoa to get the inside story on what to eat, some secret spots only locals know about, and a few top Tahitian phrases. Read on for the best of Moorea and Tahiti.


Chef Kelly’s Croquetas Cubanas

I love Cuban sandwiches, so this recipe brings the flavor profile of a traditional Cubano to this classic finger food. Whenever I have gatherings, these are always a crowd favorite, so they make the perfect surprise for parties. I make them the night before, refrigerate the balls overnight and they come out perfectly. Enjoy them with a mojito and imagine yourself in a classic Havana bar. Read on to find out how to make Cuban croquetas!