I must admit when I think about luxury cruising I usually have a mental image of delicious food, luxurious ships with state of the art facilities and fantastic ports of call, I don’t automatically think about cookery courses, but you have to admit, it is a very interesting idea!
Hapag-Lloyd offer luxury cruises aboard some of the finest cruise ships in the world so it’s no surprise then that they would offer a rather impressive culinary school too. The Miele Culinary School aboard Europa 2 is new and exciting, guests can not only learn about the cuisine they will discover at individual destinations but they are also taught how to re-create these beautiful dishes on special ‘Connoisseurs of Cuisine’ cruises. During these voyages internationally renowned gourmet experts will offer workshops and of course they will reveal one or two tricks along the way.
Gourmet Experts include:
Sarah Henke – Michelin-starred chef de cuisine at A-ROSA resorts (Spices restaurant at the A-ROSA resort on the German island of Sylt) Sarah is an expert in the art of Sushi presentation. Sarah was voted ‘newcomer of the year’ in the Gault Millau Guide 2013.
She was inspired by her adoptive mother to cook, grow her own vegetables and have an overall positive approach to food. That obviously paid off and in 2013 she was awarded her first Michelin Star.
Wolfgang Otto – Otto Gourmet Mail Order Company. When Wolfgang is onboard the culinary school shall be transformed into the Otto Gourmet ‘Perfect Meat Academy’.
Otto Gourmet was established in 2005 by brothers Wolfgang Otto, Stephen Otto and Michael Otto and has since grown to become one of the best and most trusted online butchers in the world. It was also the first ever online shop for meat produce – Consumers and restaurateurs trust in the high quality of their meat.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Culinary Courses
The courses are designed for groups of up to eight people therefore every participant has the reassurance of knowing that they will literally be one on one with the experts as they learn how to prepare a multi-course menu. I have to admit a cookery course like this would be ideal for myself. I don’t always have the patience for cooking so it would be a nice chance to not only learn how to put together a rather impressive meal – and side by side with experts, but to also enjoy doing it and taking pride in the dishes overall presentation. I suspect I would get far more from this type of experience than by attempting it in my own kitchen at home.
To give a small example of what you can expect, a cookery course that takes place during Mediterranean cruises is based on the theme “Foray into the Mediterranean”. During the 4-hour course, guests learn how to prepare a tomato and pepper gazpacho, freshly caught turbot with basil risotto, plus a saffron sauce and various oils. Once the menu is ready, the cooks gather round the table to sample their handiwork, accompanied by the appropriate wines. The perfect end to a rather interesting morning aboard.
Children’s Pizza Baking
Another fantastic aspect of the Europa 2 Culinary School is that the young ones are catered for too! Once during each of the special cruises, children can take part in the popular Pizza Baking Session.
Each child will lovingly prepare their very own little pizza, adding whatever toppings take their fancy – it really is up to them. The experts on hand will then pop them into the oven and the group can watch them bake until golden and ready to eat. The kids will then sit down and enjoy their wonderful culinary creations together.
I think this is a wonderful idea to involve the children, it keeps them occupied doing something new and at the end of it they have the reward of eating and enjoying the food which they have prepared, adds a different aspect to a ‘kids club’ that’s for sure.
The Culinary School courses are held during the morning on all cruise and can be booked as an alternative to shore excursions. To participate in one of the courses the cost is 80 euro per person and includes accompanying wines, chef’s apron and of course recipes.