Monet’s Garden: Inspiring Fine Art & First-Class Cuisine

Photographs by Derek Fell from Monet’s Palate: The Artist & His Kitchen Garden at Giverny by Aileen Bordman and Derek Fell, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
Photograph by Derek Fell from Monet’s Palate: The Artist & His Kitchen Garden at Giverny by Aileen Bordman and Derek Fell, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

Fine art and food are not necessarily natural bed partners, although for city travelers they are both essential elements of a world-class vacation—particularly in Europe. Both are also integral to the Celebrity Cruises® modern luxury experience, not to mention that the preparation of fine food is itself an art form that so many of us delight in—whether as creators or consumers.

A new cookbook, Monet’s Palate Cookbook, by Aileen Bordman and Derek Fell (Gibbs Smith), speaks to two of Claude Monet’s lesser-known passions—gardening and fine cuisine—shedding light on the private life of the very public painter. Though many art lovers are more than familiar with the Giverny house where Monet lived and its garden, which boasted the now infamous waterlillies heralded by the green Japanese bridge, food lovers will delight in uncovering the detailed description of Monet’s two-acre kitchen garden, as well as the recipes it has inspired.

Continue reading “Monet’s Garden: Inspiring Fine Art & First-Class Cuisine”

Wanderlust: Gifts for the Internationally Minded Moms

CEL_EUR_Capri_Family_TH84157 (1)

Buying gifts for the people we love most can often be challenging—we want them to be thoughtful, personal, and demonstrative of our sentiments. Additional woes, such as purchasing a present for the person who has everything, traveled everywhere, and has discerning international tastes to boot, only serve to make the pursuit more difficult. So, with May around the corner, cue Mother’s Day-buying angst for so many of us who want to shower Mom with love, gratitude, and—of course—a gift she’ll cherish and enjoy. With this in mind, we’ve curated our favorite presents for the Moms out there with wanderlust.

 

The Food-Loving Mom

Try the World, $50 – $210

We’re a little bit smitten with this subscription box service that’ll bring Mom a taste of world travel right to her doorstep. Choose from a single stop, a “6-Month Journey,” or a “1-Year World Tour,” and Mom will receive a culinary expedition of six or seven signature delicacies selected by a celebrated chef from the “country of the month.”

Continue reading “Wanderlust: Gifts for the Internationally Minded Moms”

Recipe: Chilled Sweet Pea Soup With Crab Salad

Blu Chilled Sweet Pea Soup Blu, Celebrity Cruises’ spa concept restaurant, which is exclusive to our AquaClass® guests, was designed to highlight our fresh ingredients, and showcase their clean, crisp flavors. At Blu, our world-class chefs deconstruct popular dishes to modernize them in an elegant yet simple way. Open for breakfast and dinner, the menu changes daily, with entrees that may include charred veal loin with roasted vegetables, or curried chicken and roasted beet salad. Appetizers include ever-popular beef carpaccio, as well as our signature chilled sweet pea soup with crab salad, which is as perfect for a quick spring lunch as it is an ideal prelude to dinner. With that said, we thought we’d share the recipe for this popular dish with you, just in time for al fresco lazy lunches and laidback evening suppers. Ingredients: Sweet Pea Soup 4 teaspoons olive oil 4 teaspoons shallots (chopped) 1 teaspoon garlic cloves (chopped) 2 pounds frozen green peas 6 cups soy milk 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1 bouquet garni To taste kosher salt To taste white petter (ground) Continue reading “Recipe: Chilled Sweet Pea Soup With Crab Salad”

Coffee Talk: How to Craft the Perfect Cappuccino

cappuccino

Today, this Milanese coffee creation is sought out more frequently than a good ol’ American cup of joe. But making the perfect cappuccino is trickier than you think. For it to be considered top-notch by any coffee-loving connoisseur, the added milk must be steamed to the correct temperature (between 130° and 150° Fahrenheit); the water pressure, or “the pull,” should be engaged for an exact amount of time; the cups must be filled just so… You see our point.

On board our Celebrity Cruises’ ships, the Italian espresso company Lavazza helps us maintain a world-class level of coffee drinks by training our staff (and retraining them every six months). They also inspect our espresso machines as if they were powerful sports cars, ensuring that our pressure pumps are perfectly calibrated, and our grinds are adjusted for the changing heat and humidity as our ships travel the world.

For those looking to recreate the Celebrity cappuccino experience at home, here are some of our tips for consistently preparing the perfect cappuccino.

  1. Chill the metal milk pitcher, then add the desired amount of cold milk.
  2. Froth the milk before you begin the pull. The milk should be frothed to between 130-150°F. When you begin to froth, always keep the tip of the stem wand just below the milk’s surface, riding up with the milk as it rises higher in the pitcher. After reaching 100°F, plunge the tip deeper into the milk.
  3. As the steam builds, tilt the pitcher so the milk begins to swirl. You are looking for a creamy consistency, with a texture of fine, dense bubbles. Upon reaching the perfect temperature, set the milk aside.
  4. Pull the espresso shot. It should take 25-30 seconds and—if done correctly—you will see a fine, thin caramel/hazel colored stream resting on top of the espresso shot, this I known as the “crema.”
  5. Now, pick up the milk pitcher and “work” the film (gently moving the pitcher in a circular motion) while you’re waiting for the pull to finish. You’ll see a creamy, glossy foam develop as the heated milk reacts with the whirling air.
  6. Pour the milk into the espresso to create a slight dome. The milk will drop out of the foam, giving the perfect balance of milk and espresso in the cup.

Celebrity Cruises Announces 2015 Top Chef Signature Sailing

top chef at sea

Get ready, Top Chef fans: Celebrity Cruises® has announced their 2015 Top Chef Signature Sailing. Like last year’s offerings, guests will able to dine, learn from, and interact with past cheftestants, which this year includes newest Top Chef alumni Gregory Gourdet and Doug Adams, as well as past favorites Nina ComptonAsh Fulk, Tiffany Derry and Chris Crary. The group will lead private cooking classes and best of all—and new to this year—host shore excursions with guests. Also new to this year: dual-style cooking demonstrations, which will pit cheftestants against each other in a culinary battle, while answering fans’ questions. In true reality show-style, the audience members will decide on the ultimate battle winner.

The 2015 Top Chef Signature Sailing will set sail on Saturday, November 14 onboard the Celebrity Reflection®. It joins Celebrity’s ongoing Top Chef at Sea activities, which include interactive Quickfire Challenges and Top Chef-inspired menu evenings on board nine of their ships, for all sailings departing through June 2016. Guests will indulge in some of the dishes the judges raved about on the show at Top Chef Night in the main restaurant.

Sign up now to see what culinary adventures lie in store for this year’s passengers.

 

Just in Time for Spring’s Easter and Passover Holidays: A New Spin on Roast Lamb

Turkish leg of lamb

Conventionally, the highlight of Easter Sunday’s dinner is a roast lamb dish. While many credit this to Spring being lambing season, the reason is actually rooted in the Old Testament in which we learn that the Children of Israel ate the gamey meat in remembrance of their Exodus from Egypt, when they were commanded by God to sacrifice a lamb and smear its blood on their doorposts so that the angel of death would “pass over” their homes when carrying out the final plague—the slaying of the firstborn—in retribution for the Egyptians’ cruelty. Subsequently, Jews have honored their escape from slavery by sacrificing the Paschal Lamb at Passover. Since the Pesach seder was Jesus’ Last Supper, it is believed that the Passover lamb must have been his final meal, and therein lies the roots of the Easter tradition. (Fun Fact: Incidentally, this is also why Easter is the only ‘moveable holiday’ on the Christian calendar—it falls in line with the Jewish Passover, which is dependent on a lunar (versus solar) calendar year.)

In honor of the Easter and Passover holidays, here’s one of Celebrity’s takes on roast lamb, which we think is the perfect update to your traditional Easter meal.

Ingredients

1 (12-pound) lamb leg (boned, whole)
10 garlic cloves (peeled, cut in four lengthwise)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons rosemary (chopped)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2  large white onions (rough chopped)
4 large carrots (rough chopped)

Method

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

With a small boning knife, make small incisions randomly around the leg of lamb. Insert the cut garlic cloves into the incisions, and with fingertips, press cloves all the way into the meat.

In a small mixing bowl, combine chopped rosemary with salt and spices; mix well and set aside. Brush lamb leg with olive oil, rub with the rosemary and spice mix. In a roasting pan, place onion and carrots on bottom; place leg of lamb on top.

Cook lamb or 7 to 10 hours, or until completely tender and almost falling from the bone. Remove and serve with a salad and tzatziki sauce.

Serves 6.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2016 In True Irish Style

Cork CitySt. Patrick’s Day 2015 may be over, but it’s never too early to start planning for next year’s festivities! And where better to celebrate than in the country where the holiday began? St. Patrick’s Day dates back to A.D. 461, when St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, passed away. The holiday was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century. In the modern era, St. Patty’s is celebrated the world over with parades, festivals, special meal and drinks, wearing the color green and more.

We here at Celebrity Cruises® know the value of traditional cuisine and raucous good fun—not to mention a good Irish pint and pub—so we’re offering you the chance to experience Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day merriment just like a local with a bevy of different shore excursions in Cork (Cobh), Dun Laoghaire and Waterford (Dunmore East), Ireland. All excursions include a tasty spirit or two (as well as time to walk your drink off), so book your adventure today.

Get Corked

Jameson Irish Whiskey is the world’s best-selling Irish whiskey, so the Jameson Heritage Center—the highlight of Celebrity’s Cork City & Irish Whiskey shore excursion—is a must do for any hard liquor lover visiting the active seaside city of Cork. At the Center, visitors can learn all about the history of whiskey making via a guided tour through the Old Middleton Distillery and finish off the adventure with a glass of Jameson Whiskey. To complement the Jameson experience, tour guests also have the opportunity to see Cork’s old wharves and learn about the city’s role during the Irish War.

Continue reading “Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2016 In True Irish Style”

Recipe: Slider Party

Qsine Slider Party

March Madness is upon us, and—starting today—the sports fans among us will watch on as regional “MVPs,” Kentucky, Villanova, Duke and Wisconsin battle it out over the coming weeks in the annual NCAA Division I college basketball tournament.

Hosting a March Madness party? Why not keep your guests nourished and pumped for their favorite teams, with a slider station, like the one featured in Celebrity Cruises’s Qsine restaurant.

INGREDIENTS

Beef Patty
3 ½ pounds lean chuck meat (ground)
½ pound beef fat (ground)
2 white onions (finely chopped)
¼ cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper (ground)

Continue reading “Recipe: Slider Party”

Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipe: Sachertorte with Apricot Compote

Sacher Torte

Looking for the ideal ending to your Valentine’s Day dinner? Why not wow your beloved with our signature Sachertorte, a favorite of many of our guests. The chocolatey, fruity dessert pairs perfectly with an aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, such as the Kim Crawford wine we serve on board our ships.

INGREDIENTS

Sacher Biscuit

5 large whole eggs
4 ounces unsalted butter (softened)
4 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces dark semisweet chocolate (melted)
3 ounces all-purpose flour
2 ounces almond flour

Continue reading “Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipe: Sachertorte with Apricot Compote”

Presenting Celebrity’s New Suite Class Restaurant: Luminae

luminae-carousel-food

If you’re traveling with Celebrity Cruises later this spring and suddenly have a hankering for caviar and crème fraîche, you’re in in luck. On Tuesday, Celebrity Cruises publicly unveiled its new Suite Class restaurant, Luminae, which will feature locally-sourced regional and seasonal ingredients inspired by Celebrity destination sites.

Inspired by the essence of light, exceptional food, wine and luxury, Luminae will feature dishes like a creamy black truffle risotto with fricassee of wild mushrooms and Parmigiano-Reggiano, côte de bœuf with roasted root vegetables and béarnaise sauce, as well as mascarpone cheesecake and pistachio nougatine with yuzu brown butter and apricot sorbet.

“Everything about Luminae embodies an inspirational culinary journey for our guests. We want them to savor soulful, technique-driven cuisine, while enjoying warm and personalized service in a relaxed, stylish setting,” said John Suley, James Beard-featured Celebrity Cruises executive chef.

And if you like a particular day’s menu, definitely make time to enjoy it that same day—each of Luminae’s menu items will only be featured once during a two-week cruise vacation. Other special touches include table-side preparation of signature dishes and the daily presentation of a new delectable gourmet chocolates and desserts cart. Wine lovers can take heart in a selection of over 400 wine from around the world.

Offering complimentary breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, Luminae is a culinary experience of modern, eclectic cuisine and extraordinary service that will remind you (and your taste buds) that there’s no better way to vacation than as a Celebrity Cruises Suite Class guest.

For full details about new Suite Class restaurant Luminae, visit celebritycruises.com/luminae.