Oceania Cruises launches culinary enrichment programme

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Oceania Cruises is expanding its renowned culinary enrichment programme for the upcoming Caribbean season by adding new curriculum to The Culinary Centre and new Culinary Discovery Tours in some of the region’s hottest epicurean locales. Oceania Cruises is widely recognised for its groundbreaking culinary enrichment offerings, including the introduction of the first-ever Culinary Centre at sea where guests receive hands-on instruction from a master chef at well-equipped individual cooking stations.

The new programmes for the Caribbean season, developed by longtime Director of Culinary Enrichment Chef Kathryn Kelly, will debut on Riviera starting in December 2016.

“Oceania Cruises is widely known for serving the finest cuisine at sea, and we go to great lengths to ensure our culinary enrichment programs deliver that same high standard,” said Chef Kelly. “Our exclusive Culinary Discovery Tours, along with our expertly curated curriculum at The Culinary Centre, continue to delight guests with epicurean interests. We are constantly challenging ourselves to develop new, innovative programmes that keep things fresh and interesting for our guests.”

The Culinary Centre Programs

Since opening on Marina in 2011, The Culinary Centre has offered guests the opportunity to expand their culinary skills with expert instruction delivered in a fun, light-hearted manner. The culinary emphasis varies from regional specialties based on the ship’s itinerary to comfort foods prepared in kitchens around the world and classes are designed to cater for novices and epicurean experts alike. New classes on select Riviera Caribbean sailings this season include:

  • Cuban Family Table: Guests will explore Cuba via treasured family recipes that have been passed down over generations and learn the keys to mouthwatering pastries, rich stews, succulent meats and delectable desserts. Completing the journey, guests will learn the secret to concocting the perfect mojito.
  • Patio Pleasures: Patio dining is all about simplicity and flavour. Guests will learn professional grilling techniques, how to use fruits and vegetables at the height of their freshness, and more, leaving them with an expanded repertoire of summer favourites to showcase at their next barbecue.
  • Wake up to Brunch: Brunch is a fabulous occasion for trying new recipes and savouring great food. In this class, guests will master the techniques of egg cookery and prepare classic brunch dishes while learning entertaining tips to make hosting brunch at home a breeze.

Culinary Discovery Tours

Exclusive to Oceania Cruises, Culinary Discovery Tours provide guests with epicurean interests a unique opportunity to explore local food markets, restaurants, vineyards, farms and cooking schools with regional culinary experts. All tours are accompanied by The Culinary Centre’s master chef instructor and begin with an orientation of the local culture and cuisine. Many conclude with a destination-inspired cooking class back at The Culinary Center. The new excursions planned for the Caribbean season include:

Honduran Farm & Ocean-To-Table Experience 

Guests will visit the Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum and experience Roatan’s largest collection of tropical flowers and plants. Here guests will learn how pesticide-free, hydroponic farming assists with water conservation, sustainability and fresher, longer lasting produce in your kitchen. Following the arboretum, guests will take a boat to Big French Key Beach and La Palapa restaurant for an interactive cooking demonstration featuring pink shrimp harvested by the local fishermen. At the conclusion of the demonstration, guests will enjoy a delicious lunch filled with local favourites such as rice and beans, coleslaw, fried yucca and cassava bread, as well as local pink shrimp prepared three different ways. After lunch, guests have time to relax on the beach, have a swim, or simply soak in the beauty of this tropical paradise.

Cozumel Market Tour & Mayan Cooking Class

After a short orientation at The Culinary Centre, guests set off in small groups to explore an open-air, seasonal market filled with locally grown produce and spices, freshly caught fish and other ingredients used in traditional Yucatecan cuisine. Following the market, guests visit the Mayan Cacao Company to discover the importance of the cacao seed in ancient Mayan civilisation and watch a demonstration of how chocolate is now made from the cacao plant. Back aboard the ship, guests delve into Yucatecan cuisine during a 90-minute cooking class, also sampling several authentic local dishes.

Gourmet San Juan: Market, Lunch, Coffee & Chocolate

Designed for the ‘foodie’ who desires an immersion into Puerto Rican fare, this tour heads to Santurce, a district of the city noted for art, food and music. At Santaella Restaurant, one of Puerto Rico’s rising culinary stars Jose Santaella treats guests to a lunch of locally inspired dishes and desserts. Following lunch, guests visit La Placita Mercado Santurce, a quaint marketplace filled with stands featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, local handicrafts and homemade botanicals. After strolling the market, guests will enjoy a chocolate demonstration and tasting at Casa Cortés, and cap the experience with a coffee brewing seminar and cup of gourmet mountain-grown coffee at Café Cuatro Sombras.

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