Luxury Hotels

Food, and a culinary piano demonstration, on a luxury cruise ship

Pre-breakfast deck walks…

The gal has raved before about the fabulous food aboard the good ship Seven Seas Navigator – now see what happens when Executive Chef Ronald Marczak hosts a cooking demonstration. How many luxury hotels’ chef are also near-professional pianists? See the video below. On this occasion he was making a Brazilian fish and seafood stew, showing how to complement white fish bits, plus shrimps and scallops, with coconut milk, garlic, lime juice, onion and olive and palm oil. This was later on the à la carte and buffet lunch menus.

..a special breakfast

There were continual surprises at every meal on the cruise. A couple of days there were caviar and Champagne stations at breakfast and I could quickly become addicted to caviars on scrambled eggs (especially when it is the ship’s scrambled eggs, even better than some which chef Jeremiah Tower once declared were the best he had ever tasted). My onboard breakfast also included Chobani full-fat yoghurt, fresh mango slices, strawberries, and toasted diagonal slices of a wholewheat baguette studded with nuts. See what I mean about great eating? Well done newly-promoted food supremo for the entire Regent Seven Seas and Oceania cruise brands, Bernhard Klotz.

Deconstruction – beetroot salad

As well as eating I enjoyed making art from some of the dishes – see the smudge art, above. This was the end of a starter in Compass Rose restaurant that was billed as beetroot and goat cheese salad, and it was a divine deconstructed dish. I had another deconstruction, a s’more platter with caramelized vanilla marshmallow, salted caramel, graham cracker and chocolate sauce. This dessert brought back memories of staying at The Point in the Adirondacks. When I was there, The Point, built 1929 for the family of William Avery Rockefeller, had two black-tie dinners a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Guests at the 11-cabin retreat gathered around a big oval dining table for a formal dinner, family-style.

.. and s’mores

Afterwards, then-GM Tim Thuell led everyone outside to a real log bonfire to toast marshmallows on long sticks. Obviously that method of cooking is impossible onboard or, indeed, in most luxury hotels these days – ‘health and safety’ seems to be taking over the world – but I do wonder if Tim Thuell is hosting the same creativity at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club on Nevis, where he has been back again, as Managing Director, since March 2016. Meanwhile, here on board one man I know pretty well has been raving about the daily hot puddings, say bread and butter pudding, with runny custard, of course. AND NOW RONALD MARCZAK PLAYS THE PIANO