Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Emerald Princess Chef’s Table

It was a wonderful surprise when our cabin steward delivered our invitation from the Executive Chef.  This is a very limited opportunity with only six couples chosen per night.  There were approximately 3400 passengers on this cruise.  It began with “Dear Mr. & Mrs. Rogers – It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Emerald Princess Galley and an evening at the Chef’s Table on Wednesday, 14th April”.  Our group of six couples was met by the Maitre d'hôtel (Nicola Furlan) at the International Cafe in the Piazza Deck at 7 pm.

Our gourmet extravaganza began as we all donned lab coats and were paraded through the dining room and into the galley.  We washed up as Mr. Furlan and Chef Christophe Belin told us about the operation of the 17 galleys onboard and the running of the largest staff and department on the ship.


We were served champagne and hors d’oeuvres in the galley and enjoyed a visit from Captain Marco Fortezze.

P4141339 We were then led out of the galley, removed our lab coats and were taken to our specially decorated table in the dining room.   There were bouquets of beautiful flowers, candlelight, sparking glassware and pretty china.


We were served multiple courses of fabulous gourmet food.  The asparagus risotto with lobster tail and claws was one of my favorites.  There was such attention to detail and Don (who is allergic to shellfish) was presented with his own special mushroom risotto.

P4141342 One of the most unusual courses was this strawberry sorbet with fresh cracked peppercorns.  A waiter came around the table and poured Grey Goose vodka over each serving.

P4141346The main course included roast veal shank and tenderloin (flambéed tableside by the chef) with chateau potatoes and vegetables.  The potatoes were fashioned to look like mushrooms standing on the plate (mine have fallen over).

P4141347 There was baked camembert with pine nuts, port wine reduction and walnut bread.

P4141348 This dessert was amazing with its edible blue glass looking bowl and passion fruit dome with whiskey soaked raspberry center and mango glaze. 

P4141349 As if that were not enough, they followed the dome cake with a tray of homemade bonbons.

Did I  forget to mention that each course had its own wine pairing?  There was Barolo, Pinot Grigio Santa Margherita, Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest Errazuriz and Limoncello (an Italian lemon liqueur).  I hope that I got the names right. 

P4141353Chef Christophe presented each lady with a long stemmed red rose.  We also received a signed copy of the wonderful Princess book “Culinary Courses Journey”.

P4141350 The wait staff did a superb job.  Messrs. Furlan and Belin really wove a magical night together with their humor, talent and graciousness.  This was a meal that I’ll remember for a very long time.   


Angela McRae said...

So now you really know what it feels like to be Queen for a Day, don't you! What a magnificent meal! Everything is so incredible looking -- and I'm especially smitten with that blue bowl and dessert. "Wow" just doesn't begin to cover it!

Marilyn said...

Wow! What a meal. How special to be treated royally. The edible blue glass bowl also intrigued me. Did you eat it? Was it good? I think I would have wanted to save it and bring it home. Thanks for sharing such a special meal.

Linda J. said...

Oh my! What an absolutely delightful and memorable sepcial experience!

Appleshoe said...

I know it's been said, bit WoW! That all looks so good. I'm with Marilyn on this one. Did you eat the bowl? What was it made out of?

Barb's Tea Shop said...

What a treat!! How does one get this fantastic opportunity - the desserts alone could be a meal! Your cruise descriptions and pictures are great. We've been told we're "cruise people" and now I'm sold. One of these trips must be in our future.

Looking forward to hearing about your tea beads, too!

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